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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    August 10, 2012
    10:30 - 6:00am EDT  

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i.d. measures are necessary to stop illegal voting. they found 13 cases where voter i.d. could have not done anything at all. they convince 70% of all americans that this is a big problem. this is not just republicans. 52% of democrats, 72% of independents believe a voter i.d. is necessary to prevent illegal voting. until we start to change that number, all of the initiatives we are talking about will be hard. people think this is a good idea. only 26% believe that such laws are unnecessary and discourage illegal voting. a small minority of people. even more disturbing, 50% of
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people believe opponents of a voter i.d. laws are trying to steal elections. it is hard to steal an election with 13 votes over 10 years, but that is what people believe is going on. there is a massive incredibly successful misinformation campaign that has been perpetrated by these groups. by true the vote, by a number of other groups. right now it has worked. that is why i think you have seen since 2011 what president jealous was talking about. 17 states moved to restrict voting rights including some of the biggest and most important swing states. let me stop the negative talk and talk about what we can do
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about this. what you have to do with a massive information campaign is tell people the truth. it is a little bit harder than what they have to do because when you are making things up, it is pretty easy to figure out what to say. one example, this is a group mentioned and project vera toss, they went around and released a video in florida saying, here are two people who committed in person voter fraud. they should not have voted. they were not citizens. they put it out as they investigated the video, this blasted on youtube. i read a site called think progress. we try to investigate this stuff. we did something that apparently other people did not think to
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do. we contacted these people. we called them up and said, is this true? are you not a citizen? they said, no i am a citizen. i am nationalized. -- naturalized. we put their certificate on our blog. that at least diminished or destroyed one era they had to argue this was a big problem. that is one piece of the problem. that is just a small piece, and there are many others. i am going to wrap up because i know my time is up. i just want to encourage people to reach out to us. we want to tell the stories about what is going on. between three and 4 million people who come to our web site every month that we want to tell the stories from people who know what is going on and on the front lines. please get in touch with us so we can work together.
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[applause] >> i want you to think about something when you come back and maybe do a follow up. racism has always won the message war. manifest destiny was the description -- the nice description of white people were put into slavery. the goal was to redeem america. -- why people were put into slavery. i think part of what -- i am glad you raised that. the only time we have been able to change the message is when we made it a moral issue. we have elevated our language and writed it in the framework of our faith in our constitution. racism has always had to talk about itself in terms that did not seem so harsh.
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thank you so much. come on and share with us. >> good afternoon again ladies and gentlemen. i am from the great purging state of florida. i am a recent graduate. i just turned 18 in the month of november. the november -- april. the november elections will be the first time i exercise my right to vote. with that in mind as i was asked to really go into the effects of the attack on voting rights on college students. i am reminded of one of my final classes in high school, which was american government. that was a required credit. two of the terms that i learned political socialization and civics. civics is rather elementary. the ability of people to exercise their rights as a
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citizen and the good citizens in our society. political socialization is the development of citizens in this country and their political ideology. when i think about the attack on voting rights for college students, the first thing that comes to my mind is education and school is one of the greatest effect on a person posing political ideology next to family. political ideology next to family. they want us to develop our ideologies through college. so they are putting the -- they are actually putting a enable life -- enable right of life and pursuing happiness and a constitutional right to vote against each other. we almost have to make a choice.
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just moving forward and asking the question of why they are doing these things to college students. it is more a question of, are we americans or not? i would like to share some data with you all. in 2008 college students ages 18-24 in particular were more active in the elections than any other age group. 59% of all eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 were registered before the presidential election. 49% of them actually cast a ballot. that is the greatest number for that age group in our american history. so we ask ourselves why. these statistics give us our answers. we are powerful. the speaker of the house of in
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new hampshire even said, and i am quoting him, the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what i did when i was a kid which is voting as a liberal. that is what kids do. they do not have life experience and they just blow their feelings. voting our feelings. -- -- voting their feelings. i guess we are supposed to be numb that our peers are being killed day-by-day. murders are being upheld by standard ground laws. cuts to affordable health care and provide college students with high quality health care is not a right we should have. those are the feelings we are voting for. no, those are the facts. people vote on what affects them
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in their daily lives. voting our feelings is not the term. we are voting based on what will affect us in the future. as of right now, 15 states have voter i.d. laws. in texas in particular, your state college id just will not cut it for you. i guess if you are college students over 21 you can get a gun licence and still votes. however, that is not the major issue. these politicians want to take us back. the whole notion of voting our feelings is the same thing that was suppressing the right of women's voters in the beginning of the earliest -- in the early 20th century. they are too emotional.
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want to take us back to the era where politicians implemented laws that denied african- americans the right to vote. back to the era when a small percentage of our -- americans controlled the wealth and toyed with the democracy of this nation. that is what they are trying to go back to because college students and students alone have too much power. if we use it, we are an agent of change of in this country. with that in mind as we fight back, it is said one of the best messages in fighting back against these voter i.d. laws and boats that are even stopping kansas organizations from registering voters like in the state of florida is educating our peers.
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i guess i can delve in further in the question and answer period. [applause] >> if you could let us know at 5 minutes. we want to get to some questions and we want to get all our panelists and. at this time, brian. >> good afternoon. my name is brian and i bring greetings from the great city of prairie view. the word that i will talk about in reference to power to organize is called power. power defined by webster is the ability to actor produce an effect. possession or control or exert influence over others. students marched for voting
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rights in 2004, myself and some of my friends at a campus some of you might have heard of called prairie view a&m university which is the second oldest institution here in texas. we organized a march. we talked about a supreme court case that was ruled in 1979 called the order of 1978. it went to the supreme court and allowed the right for all college students to be able to vote where they go to school. what college do you think brought that lawsuit? currey view a&m university. . prairie view a &m university. there were 19 students indicted. charges were later dropped. they were indicted and taken to jail for voter fraud that led
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to massive voter registration efforts on the university campus. the recall the pv 19. this is real. a district attorney told students they would be fined and could face jail time if they registered in the county. then we came back, me and some of our friends. i want to thank everyone in here. i grew up in the naacp. i have been a member for the last 16. five years. i came through the youth chapter that gave me the skills to organize and be able to do some of the things we are successful at. what we did is -- >> you have about one minute. >> power to organize. we have to prepare ourselves and our communities for long-haul over these issues as our history presented indicates there have
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been continuous attempts to implement a regressive policies to suppress the vote of people of color. it becomes critical we organize our communities around the important issues that impact our civil rights to participate in the democracy. there are several states that have voter rights challenges this year. we hold forums to educate the masses around voter rights. our for results. he will build a strong base that is actively engaged in democracy. accountability within leadership. if you do not remember anything, remember power. i want to leave you with something that -- a saying that. extreme circumstances call for
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extreme measures. i would like to quote a couple of famous black poets. chuck d was "fight the pwer." people, people we are not the same. we're not the same because we do not know the game. what we need is awareness. make everyone fight to the powers that be. for my more modern people i want to talk about kanye west. i am doing something in the 21st century. doing something means to me. the system is broke. schools are closed and prisons are opened. we have nothing to lose. thank you again. do not forget power. [applause] >> we are going to have some hard stops because we want to get questions. if you hear me do the preacher thing, that means hard stop.
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>> of next and i will listen to the rev.. it also a founder of the kimba smith foundation. and 8095 i was sentenced to 24 1/2 years in prison. conspiracynation's and crack cocaine drug laws, even though the prosecutor stated that i never handled used or sold any drugs involved, i was sentenced to the total amount within the conspiracy. thank goodness for organizations such as the naacp. it was the naacp legal defense fund that represented me pro bono. they advocated on my behalf. it was years ago our president
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jobless who was a rhodes scholar at the time who was one of the first people who actually brought my case to president clinton. -- president just he was a rhodes scholar who brought my case to president clinton. had it not been for this act of the president of the united states, i would still be serving my sentence today until 2016. one of the collateral consequences is losing my right to vote. in 2009 during the most historical -- 2008 in the most historical election i was not able to cast my vote due to state disenfranchisement laws. there are four states that permanently disenfranchise voters with convictions. there are nearly 400,000 people who are disenfranchised in virginia.
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disenfranchisement scheme was adopted into the constitution in 1902. the reasoning it was instituted was because it was quoted by state delegate "this plan will eliminate the darkie as a political factor in less than five years so there be the least concern of the white supremacy in the affairs of government." 90 days later the number of black registered voters plummeted from 140,000 to 22,000. this authority has not been fully exercised. and virginia a convicted person would need to complete their prison sentence, pay any fines or court costs, complete their release. after completing the supervised release there is a mandatory
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two-five year waiting period before someone can apply for restoration of voting rights whether or not you have a non- violent or violent offense. if you have nonviolent drug charge to fall within the five- year period because you have a drug case. i was not eligible to apply to have my rights restored until 2010. in 2009 i moved to indianapolis for marriage. i was unsure about my voting status but somebody suggested i just go to dmv and fill out the form and see what happens. within a few weeks the received my card and in the november 2010 i was able to vote for the first time in indiana. thank you. [applause] recently i moved back to virginia as a wife, mother. i have a two-year-old daughter. i have a husband who is an air
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traffic controller. i have to go through this tedious bureaucratic process of applying for a restoration of rights. i just want to list some things i have to do as if i am applying to go to college. i have to get a certified copy of my driving record, certified copy of a criminal record, proof of payment of all court costs, three reference letters, and my application signed by a notary public, a letter of petition has to be submitted by myself, a letter from my probation officer outlining my supervision, and certified copies of your sentencing order. really? for a basic human rights i need to make sure -- i am fortunate i have transportation and somebody who can watch my daughter because she is not in day care now. i will make sure i give my right restored. just to people who are
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listening and especially to government or bob mcdonnell since i will sum up and not say any of the other things i want to say, a quote from martin luther king. he said on some positions cowardice ask a question, is it expedient? and expedience say is it politic. vanity asks if is a popular. conscious asks if it is right. there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor political or popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right. thank you. [applause] >> let's think our sister. i was going to give you an amen. the other side is getting mad because i am thinking of all these people who stole money on wall street and they get a bonus. here a good sister and up with all these years in jail. something is wrong with that. >> everything that was going to say has been said.
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i am going to give a couple of quick hitters. one of the great things that happens to me when i come to the conference at the state level and also here is that i get mad all over again. that is a good thing. constructive discontent is what i call it. just a couple of things that has -- to the couple of things about felony disenfranchisement is there are 5.3 million people affected in this country unable to vote because of their record. it goes across variations of states. in our state where i am from, you cannot vote until you are off probation and parole and supervised. is the way of the land across the country. california compel while on probation but not parole. in pennsylvania you can vote as soon as you are released without regard to probation or parole. in the maine and rhode island you can vote even as an inmate so we can find out what they are doing.
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-- maybe we need to study them to see what they are doing. the new jim crow is felony disenfranchisement. i think we have heard it over and over. there are some legal challenges over the last 30 or 40 years entered into our court. challenging the 14th, 15th amendment and the voting rights act. we have not had any opinions in our favor yet but there are some courts leaning our way and saying from the totality of the circumstances, if it looks like this is not a lot to hurt you from voting but to prevent -- to prevent you from voting, we will look at everything under all the circumstances. if it looks like there is something other than just what you say it is, we will have issues around the 14th amendment and 15th amendment. i think that will change. what can we do? we can study the states that are
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already using this lot. study what they are doing up there. anybody can go to their including inmates. we can get back to our courts and have lobbied days. speaking get our state legislators on capitol hill to fight for disenfranchisement. we can call on the formerly incarcerated to form a coalition to help them carry it forward. those formally incarcerated men and women who are eligible to vote, let's make sure they are eligible to vote. i will stopper there. i was a thank you for allowing me to come. -- i will stop right there. thank you so much. [applause] >> are there any young people in here? i want you to stand up. mark, sit down. you are 100 years old.
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if you are young stand up for a quick. if you are under 18. 2121 and under. we need some civil-rights lawyers. we need some lawyers that will continue to fight. we have to dust off this constitution. barbara needs everyone of you to be heard in terms. she needs a legacy. i want to believe somebody will become a civil rights lawyers. give them a hand. [applause] i am teasing you, marc. brother mitchell used this word -- did you hear him use that word? the word dr. king used as well but a lot of people have
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forgotten what it means. in layman's term it simply means when the state tries to undermine or cancel the protections of the federal law for state law. when dr. king used it he used it to keep from cussing. it really is an ugly word. interposition. the governor's lips were dripping with the words of interposition and nullification. i want you to listen close to barbara. i believe we are dealing with two realities. we are dealing with jim crow. this comes straight at you. jim crow is straight up racism, no chaser. i will destroy you. we also are dealing with james crow, esquire who is slick,
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sophisticated, hires consultants, those in the back room and finds loopholes in the law designed to undermine the very principle of law itself. this sister has been battling both of them. the jim crow and his offspring, james crow, esquire. thank you for being with us. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. this audience is composed of my heroes and sheroes because you are the difference and you are the game changes. i want to focus on today is what we need to do. how do we respond to this challenge. what can be done about it. first of all, everybody has covered some much. i will discover a few things that were not mentioned just quickly. -- i will cover a few things not
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covered under quickly. they released a report on the deceptive practices and voter intimidation. the report you can get at www.lawyerscommittee.org. you will find that in that report it talks about all of these deceptive practices where fires are passed off and our communities that say if you come to the polls and try to vote, you will be arrested. if you have not paid your traffic tickets, your child support, your electric bill, your rent, your telephone bill, whatever. they just lie. the other fliers say things like "if you show up and try to vote and are registered by the naacp, and the other progressive group, that you will be arrested." the other flyers says that because you are a great
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democratic voter, you should know democrats only vote on wednesday. everybody else foots on tuesday. there are robocalls. we saw these in wisconsin. we have seen them in virginia. we see them everywhere. they say things like, oh, it is 03 o'clock today. the election has been decided. you can stay home. they say things like, by the way, your precinct has been moved or closed for the days you have to come back and vote on wednesday. all of these lies designed to steal people's votes. we have issued a report calling for the federal government to pass a federal legislation pending to make deceptive practices illegal so instead of just getting slapped on the hands, they can be put in jail for trying to intimidate people. the other thing that want to
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mention, and i know you have heard it over and over. we have to register people. 60% of the 3 million african- american voters that registered for the first time since 2008 will lead the be registered. they do not know that. they think they are cool. if you say, are you registered to vote, they will say they are good. i voted in 2008. they do need to be registered in most circles. 1.8 million black voters will need to be read-registered an order for us -- they say for the lack of knowledge, people perish. one of the things that we passed out that is being passed out right now by my wonderful colleague and others his the m -
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-is the m -- is the map of shame. my son was smart enough to say, mom, you need a map. i guess i need a map. my staff created it. it has become really popular because it caught everybody what was at stake. the bad news is that sense i showed it to you, last july, it has gotten worse. there are more states out there trying to pass these horrible loss. i want to remind you that in addition to voter identification and everything else that the patriots etc., we have limits on the early voting, restrictions on citizenship, and mass confusion because nobody knows what the law is. we have to stand up and be voter
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champions. each and every one of us, everybody we know. unheard of the first thing we want to do his massive voter education. people think they are good and are not. we have to teach them to get registered. we have to have them verify their registration. we have, active right now, the election protection hot line. if you have a cousin or a sister and you don't know whether or not they have the right to vote because they are an ex phelan, on parole, call the hot line. call it because it is live, the staff, open business hours. use its.
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people have all kinds of issues out there. they don't know what to do with a move, they don't know how to reregister. this is where you can call if you need information. i want everybody to allow your smart phone. you know that thing we can't live without? our assistance, our appendage, our other hand. i want you to get our mobile application. this is election protection in your hands. text ourvote to 90975. you will get the election protection smartphone app.
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this application is excellent because it will tell you everything about voting in your state and it will tell you if you don't know where to go to get identification, where to go get it and who can help you. it will tell you the election dates coming up in your state. it tells you everything you need to know and how to get help. i want to make sure that you do those things. i will stop out because of time, but there are additional resources that have been passed out. this is a fight, my brothers and sisters. but let us not have any doubt about what is going on. it is reconstruction deja vu, but you know what is really going on? people are adding the numbers and they know straight out that if this country is allowed to be what it should be, everybody is
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allowed to vote, it will be a more progressive nation. it will reject the conservative agenda. it is going to be a more fair and representative nation. more women, more african americans, more native americans, more asian-americans where they need to be sitting in the sea of power. and exercising that power. the only way to stop the inevitable evolution in this country is by coming up with artificial barriers. guess what we do? we tear down artificial barriers. >> thank you so much. let me make a comment, and if you have a question, you can bring it right here. what is important, let's give this panel a hand. give them a hand.
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i want you to remember that when we talk about this reconstruction, this nation on a couple of occasions had a chance to fulfil its noble ideals. right after slavery. in the reconstruction effort was undermined by frontal attacks on the vote. he civil rights movement represented the possibility of a second reconstruction. how was undermined by a tax on voting rights in the assassination of our leaders. even the president of the united states. and the initiation of a white southern strategy. the election of president obama we don't endorse, but we talk about the historical realities. the kind of the electorate that brought him into office represented the possibility of a third reconstruction that would be completed.
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that would be completed. and democracy is hard. there has always been a challenge to expanding the electorate. the noble documents of this nation when they were written did not include everybody. it didn't even include all white people. let's be real about that. there has always been a struggle with a full and open democracy because the original constitution didn't even include poor white people. if they were to landowners. it did not include women. if it did not include native americans that were here first. and it fractionalize us and said you could take a person that got made and reduce them to a fraction. democracy, you cannot relax. because there are those that want to take advantage of the
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democracy itself. one final piece, we have to keep our eye on this issue of redistricting. all across this country, particularly in those states where you have the voting rights section five. let me give you an example. our opponents are perverting our victories. our voting rights says that -- the james crow attempt to say that the voting rights act says that we must create majority black districts. we will use the 50 + 1 principle to create your black districts.
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we are going to bleach, staff, and pass african-american voters. quill do you a favor. we will give you an extra seat in the state senate and house. so you might go from seven black people to eight or nine. and you ought to be excited about that because we know what is best for you and your community. but the trick in that is that they add african americans to districts that are less than 50% black voting populations that are already electing black people. and by adding african-americans to of those voting districts, they thereby undermine the ability not for blacks, and i want us to get this because we
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are not just interested in electing black people. if you play the political game, you are going to lose. it is not just collecting black people or having in blackface at a high place as important that is. you have to be careful because a black snake can buy you just like a white one, sometimes quicker. the political game is collecting individuals of your choice that will move your agenda. and even if they are not african-american, they owe you their political reality. and they know that if they don't do right, you can change that reality. in north carolina, why we are in court now, they took 53% of african-american voters and packed them into three congressional districts, thereby
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trying to remove our influence from nine other congressional districts. they put 51% in 27 out of 120 house district, and 29% -- and gave an extra black in the house and an extra black in the senate. but what they have done is removed our political power. they thought we would be happy with just having an extra black rather than having black influence throughout the whole general assembly. and now we are having to sue them in state court because this is important. using a law that our black and white fusion politics brothers and sisters of the past had sense enough to put into law 144 years ago because they knew that
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somewhere down the road, a somebody would try to undermine democracy. that is where we are. and we must watch this. we must be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves and really understand what is going on. if we don't fight at the state level, people missed it. it doesn't get in the headlines. but if they are allowed to proceed with these redistricting that foru can't change 25 years. if, then, and by then, so much public policy would have been put in place, you may not ever be able. remember, when they put 3/5 of a person in the constitution, it took us 246 years of slavery, over a hundred years of jim
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crow, and we still haven't gotten rid of the effects. at this time, we will have questions from the audience. thank you so much. first question. all right. when do these oppression laws go into effect? are they already had an effect? and what is the impact? >> if you pull out your math, right here, you should have its as a handout. once again, thank you, tanya. she is the head of the national bar association, and i am
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fortunate enough that she works for me as our public policy director. you will see that there are scales of justice. on several states. that is because it is indicating that these laws right now are not in effect in those states. mind you, if we have not organized, some of these states like wisconsin have a scale of justice on that because we sued to the advancement project. if you look at new hampshire, that as a law that doesn't go into effect. it is in blue, 2013. but it has precursor affects this year. if you look at georgia and if you look at south carolina and
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alabama, mississippi, texas, you will see that the scales of justice are there because we sued texas and we are litigating with them right now. some of the lawyers are going to court today. we also objected to the justice department's around south carolina, and we are objecting in alabama and mississippi. let me get one thing straight. everybody thinks voter i.d. laws are good. let's take trees that that myth. one thing that happened in mississippi is that they had a voter initiative. in mississippi, it passed by over 80%. when we did an analysis like
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lawyers do, we went back and looked at who voted. we found out that in white communities, 82% of all people voted for the ballot initiative, but in the african-american communities, 75% of all african- americans voted against the ballot initiative. it shows that the naacp in the state of mississippi did its job. it shows that when you tell people what is at stake and they understand their interests, they will vote correctly. you can't go by polling data. frankly, none of us would be sitting here if we went by polling data. it was never in support of the civil rights act of 1964. it was not popular in the south and was not carried by the southern bloc. neither was the voting rights act. president johnson said, when he
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signed the act, he said, i am conceding the south to the republican party henceforth. this map shows you what is in effect. there were 13 states, which have stopped those laws in seven of those states. we are doing other work all over this country. i will be part of that fight, beat the laws and nebraska, who have done all these good things >. >> the naacp, it requires the
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kind of come by and work to be able to do that. on some of these issues, governors are the telling like in michigan and north carolina. even though the veto had 18 straight vetoes, more than any other governor in history trying hold back these repressive laws. someone wanted to know in terms of the struggle getting the government to address sex phelan disenfranchisement in your state. what has been the struggle? >> i don't know if you heard, but i have been living in indianapolis the last three years. so i have been off the scene, but i know that governor mcdonald -- and there has been some praise because the past governors did not deal with the issue at all. people were not able to get
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their application process. gov. mcdonald made a commitment that he will make sure that each application is addressed within 60 days. again, i think it is the time to do what is right and there should be no application process at all. thank you. unfortunately, i do have to leave early, but i am glad i was able to make a comment. when of the things that bothers me is that i am a taxpaying citizen and i speak personally about the representation -- about the situation, but i represent large groups across the country. the outlook on the community. to teach our young people about the importance of making do you explain to
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your child to exercise that basic human right? i have to explain to my young son in 2008 why i was not able to vote, which was very painful. i feel as of virginia and these other states need to step up and do what is right. >> if you would allow me to do what i do in church and take a little pastoral privilege, i read most of the questions and some of them will be answered in the next section when we are led through on how to implement the plan at the local level. we have got it. sued us up so we can fight. if we can take the panelists, starting with you, in a minute and a half, what two things from the perspective that you have
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raised in do we need to see happening? think about it that you're speaking to grass-roots people, 2400 units across this country in almost every county and every state. people that spent their own money to come here. what can they do when they go back, from your perspective on the issue you have spoken to today? each take a minute and a half and we will conclude. >> i think the number one thing to do in terms of messaging is to make sure that people's individual stories are told. what you saw in florida, despite what the governor was trying to do, the election supervisors put a halt of the purge and it was driven by some of the individual stories that came out, people being impacted. the 92 year-old world war two veteran and the individual
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stories told. it didn't matter. about half of those supervisors are republican and half are democrats. half of them stopped the purge, and that is a good thing going into the election that we will hopefully not have what we thought was going to happen there. the second thing that i would say is that we just need to do what we can to raise the issue in the consciousness to get it into local papers, local news. a lot of times, people -- it really drops off of the radar as far as what is going on. that is what really gets busy.
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keep the vigilance up and make sure that the message keeps getting out. >> let's give him a hand. >> just to piggyback off of what he said, i absolutely agree in terms of fighting back against college oppression. we have to be underground informing college students, especially incoming freshmen. informing them exactly what needs to be done so that they will be able to go. i will be attending a school away from my state and i already have to put provisions in place so that i will be able to cast my absentee ballot. we have to be more aggressive, and deny the stereotypes that they have of college students that we are brainwashed and because they brainwash us when
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we wash our heads in the shower. we have to be more aggressive as the association, informing them that as one of our greatest abilities, getting the information to communities and making it known that these are the methods that you can go through. a lot of the supervisor's office are either willing to work with units that may want to do registration. they will do it for you so you don't have a liability if it is turned in. we have to get that information into communities so we can begin to affect change. the college students' voices will not be muted and we will say this is what we want and this is our future that we are fighting for. >> it sounds like we need a fresh freedom summer led by a new generation. i was one-year-old. freedom fall.
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i was one-year-old when you did it in 64. >> in just a few things to kind of piggyback. one thing we clearly need to do is all take the naacp voting rights tool kit and read it. and that is the first thing. from that, we can implement that at all levels local, state, a nationwide. because i am the elected official, all politics are local and we need to understand that. communities around the country will change if you effects changing your community. you can't be disconnected from your community and participate nationally. we will start to see the changes affect. our brother brandon talked about how things piggyback.
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elections every four years, in texas, the governor is every two years. we can't participate in the of years because that is when the egregious of things happen around this country. after 2008, one joyous occasion happened. in 2010, we were still celebrating. i think you for the opportunity and i will say, make sure that we read in the voter rights will get that the naacp has put together, and brought hold of voting rights as a game changer topic. it is the foundation of how we move forward. redistricting was very important. redistricting is the foundation. and how we reform education and criminal justice and economic development was all based on redistricting because that is how the laws that things are going to be changed.
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again, thank you. >> everybody hold out your hand. everybody. remember the president said that we have five game changers. you would not cut off your fingers, the pinkie. you would not cut off your thumb, these five came changers are connected on just like the fingers on your hand. how many of you want to keep all your fingers? keep them all. in a real sense, the thought as like voting. that is what separates you from a primate. that is what gives here have the ability for your other figures to function. in his voting rights pieces like the thumb. if you take that away, you undermine health care, education, and i want to thank you earlier for raising the apocrypha equity. i want to say to those of us a
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little bit older, some of the brothers and sisters in the hip- hop community got it right. they know exactly what is going on. and that language needs to be used and appropriated because we need everybody, 22 million african-americans eligible to vote. listen to me. even when an african-american was running for president, 35% stayed home. 22 million eligible. even with an african-american, on the ticket, the first time in history, in a nation that was born and benefited from slavery. a million. they stayed home.
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they didn't even bother to register. and in 2010, only 45% went out. we need all hands on deck. and everybody at the polls. >> on bad hip-hop -- that hip- hop point, the reverend has been doing a magnificent job focusing hard on this registration issue, and the felon disenfranchisement issue. and to have been leading the entire effort can look for their rallies and other of events that they are holding all over the country. go to the hip-hop caucus and look up their schedule. the things i would say people have to do, and i mean must do. not optional, it would be nice
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if you did it, we must do these things. help people get id. every red stay on that map, you have got to make sure people get id even if there is a scale of justice there because all of those cases are still in litigation. we may win, like we won today, or we may lose. it is critical that we always operate like we are in a parallel universe. on one hand we got it, on the other hand, we got to get it. i need everybody to be part of get id programs. everybody you know in those states. say to them, are you apart of a get id program? the second thing, home workers. what they are doing that we did not talk to you about, how they are going to have people at the polls intimidate voters, we
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failed to tell you that the big thing they are doing is encouraging people to become full workers. specifically to get on the inside to challenge our people when they come to try to vote. also, so that they can be helping them make sure the laws are interpreted correctly and people have the right to vote can stop folks inside those polling places being bad. we need people to monitor the outside of the polling places to stop these challengers. the next thing, the smart phone application, making it viral. take it viral. if it is viral, everybody you know, can you look up your registration? that allows you to go and and
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look up your own registration. anybody else's registration. help people know if they are registered. let's make it viral so that everybody in the world is showing you that application. let's make it that popular. in september, september 25, that is national voter registration day. in many states, voter registration stocks as early as the first week in october. we want to make sure that we are encouraging people to have freedom schools, making sure that people are registering to vote and help register people. if we do those things, we will fight in the courts, don't worry about that. we are going to push the department of justice and we will do everything we got to do.
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but we need you to do those things we just talked about. everyone of you is indispensable in this fight. it was an honor to speak to you. >> we are not through. we have some work to do. i will ask everyone to stand, i want to say a few things. everybody stand. we have embraced the program announced they called 1000 churches, mosques, and temples. 100% registration. how many of you at church? lost? temple? paternity? sorority? i want you to take personal responsibility to say that you're going to go back to your church, mosque, temple, soro rity, make sure 100% of folk
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eligible to vote are registered. why don't you may get 50%? we don't want 50% of freedom. you don't want 50% of the constitution or of justice. we ought to have a goal of 100%. the second thing i want to say, it is critical that we do this strategy peace. i will open it up a little bit on wednesday when we talk to barbara again. where i come from, there is this phrase. if we ever needed the lord, we sure do need him out. this is going to sound funny from a creature. i don't think that is where we are at. i think where we are at is if we ever needed to use what the lord has given us, we sure do need to
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use it now. you remember when moses was at the red sea and he got scared. he started crying. moses said, a standstill. but god said, no. don't you stand still. i did not tell you to stand still. that is your fear, that is your motion. i told you to stretch out your laws, look at what is in your hand. and there are times we cannot ask god to do for us what god has empowered us to do. but if we do what god has empowered us to do, then god will grieve got that and make it more powerful than we can
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imagine. here it is. let me go back in history and that we will go to the strategy. we cannot be the generation -- we cannot be the generation that does less with more. what our forefathers did more with less. we must do more with more. harriet tubman had epilepsy. her skull was crushed in by white slave master. but she got 500 votes out of slavery. she could have gotten 1000, but she could not convince them that they were slaves. some folks are not convinced we are under attack. asked a neighbor, are you convinced? it was born of the spirit of the moment. harriet tubman of 500 folks out of slavery with a bounty on her
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head. all she had was lost on the north side of the tree. and a north star that sometimes with a peak itself out against the buzz among the midnight sky. she had less and did more. harriet tubman didn't have e- mail. have a car. she didn't have good health. she didn't have health insurance. she didn't have myspace or facebook. she had a loss on the north side of the tree and a north star that every now and then would peak itself out against the backdrop of the bosom of the midnight. if she could get 500 slaves with that little bit, and now the
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lord has blessed us with all this technology and all this history, i start by saying, you better e-mail everybody you know. tell them, if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now. you'd better knock on every door you can not caught and tell them, if we ever needed a vote, we sure do need to vote now. you'd better text everybody you know and stop sending the other text before the fbi gets you. if we ever needed the vote, we had better vote now. myspace, a phase but everybody you know and tell them, show up. if we ever needed a vote, you sure do need the vote now. if his car, a mercedes-benz, or
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something you don't know will get to the next street, i get in it and drive it and tell people if we ever needed the vote, we need the vote now. i don't know how to do this, but i see my daughter and my son. i can't tweak, but they'd better to leave. to everybody they know if you ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now. is there anybody in the house? [applause] >> next, a discussion about economic segregation in the impact on american cities. after that, a discussion on the 2012 campaign and the mood of voters. >> c-span, created by america's
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cable companies and brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> a discussion on what is being described as economically segregated neighborhoods and its impact on american cities. this is about 40 minutes. >> rich and poor americans increasingly likely to live in separate neighborhoods. in come segregation rising in rapidly changing cities. these stories came from a research, richard frye is the senior economist there. he is here to tell us about the numbers behind the story. and also the program director for community and economic development. how it might be interesting for him to talk about the challenges
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that cities are facing from a policy standpoint as neighborhoods began to shift. let's start with you, mr. frye. what was your intent with the study? adoption the intent was as well known nationally, there has been a rise of income inequality among america's households. the basic idea was to see how this is playing out in each of our neighborhoods. we looked at census data back to 1980, looking at the 65,000 census tracts. the key assumption that one needs to make the way we did this, what is a low-income household, middle income, occur in town? the nation as a whole, we used a cut off all of 34,000 and below is lower income. middle and come as 34,000- 104,000.
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upper income was above 104,000. once you make assumptions about who is lower copper, and metal, the story -- into the study falls out in that we can ask, what is the composition of the households in that sense this track horn neighborhood? you can look at it various ways, but a simple way that i think was helpful is to simply ask, let's look at tracks that are majority low in, or majority upper income. and what we found was, among the lower income households, a number of them that are concentrated and living in majority lower income neighborhoods is up over the past 30 years from about 23% of low-income households being a majority lull in contract to about 28%. what about the affluent?
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when hundred and 4000 above, back in 1980, about 90% of upper-income households were in majority upper income tracks. largely living among themselves. 30 years later, it had doubled to about 18%. it is not largely saluki, but there is a general tendency for lower-income households could be increasingly concentrated in low income neighborhoods and increasingly, the nation's affluent are increasingly leaving him majority affluent. >> we are dividing our phone lines regionally. we also will ask you the questions. in your own city, are you seeing evidence of the community changing?
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if that is happening in your community, is very positive or negative effect? we live like to hear what your thoughts are on this possibly changing fabric of american communities. where are the regions that this is most likely to happen? >> reluctantly the largest metro areas. the boundaries of what was to be low income, middle and come, upper income, they vary. to the upper income in washington, we used a higher cut off. columbus ohio and portland oregon, they are not as affluent. what we found, to answer your question, in terms of the growth and economic segregation,, the southwest, san antonio, phoenix, who they experienced
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quite a large increase over 30 years. in majority affluent neighborhoods and lower income as opposed to that, the areas to the southeast. atlanta, orlando, they did not experience as much change in their income segregation patterns. the northeast was not quite as much changed. the dramatic growth seems to be in the southwest. >> we have gotten a reaction from of your that says, surprise, you live in the neighborhood you can afford. host: how much of this is aspiration on the part of families moving up? guest: i agree with the caller. yes, the housing where you live is influenced by what you can afford. however, increasingly, the housing market is influenced by policies enacted by communities
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in terms of zoning, etc. yes, there is a market for housing. it is influenced by income. but, policies can have an impact on that. host: stern to michael wallace from the national league of cities. if neighborhoods are less diversify economically, what policy issues can this spring? guest: it is a major challenge for cities. one of the things the study shows is that prior to the economic downturn, cities have invested billions in economic development. their goal was to try to create services to build up the middle class. what has happened since the downturn is cities have largely struggled to maintain those investments.
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instead of foreclosure and houses falling apart and going derelict, that neighborhood declined. to prevent that is different than trying to foster additional investment in your city. when you do this work, it takes a lot of stakeholders and partners. traditionally, they partner with state level and private sector folks because community development is a massive undertaking. what we're seeing now because of the deficit debate is a severe cutback at the federal level to provide funding for these community development programs. that has left cities in a lurch because they do not have the revenues themselves to fund these massive undertakings. whether it is infrastructure or housing or that sort of thing. in order to be intentional about creating mixed income neighborhoods, there will have
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to be a discussion about how the different levels of government want a partner. host: but get some calls in here. charlotte, north carolina. charles is on the line. good morning. caller: good morning. i have a couple of questions and comments. if you make $34,000 or under in many places in rural america, you are doing very, very well. the other comment would be i think we are not talking about income, we are talking about culture. certain people do certain things that cause them not to be successful. the way they dress, the way the act, the way they speak. whether they have children. that sort of thing. i know that in my community, there are many, many people who spend a lot of money trying not to expose their children to the cultural ravages of people that have not been successful.
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it is a cultural thing. if you are on assistance or have not done the right thing, how do we inspire those people to do better, respond? host: thank you. guest: intentionally grading these mixed income communities is aspiration of. the idea is that if we concentrate poverty, you are breaking the cycle. when your neighbors are out keeping their property, there is pressure for you to do so. i think the cultural issues are a question to be considered, but you know, i think this is more about the loss of the middle class and when you are losing middle-class based on lower incomes for people, that is not really a cultural.
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that is financial. host: let us put these numbers on the screen. these are the line numbers. this is more a lower income houses living in low-income tracks from 1980 until 2010. 23% to 28% . more upper-income houses live in upper-income neighborhoods. how much as the downturn and the loss of jobs responsible? guest: in this study, this study cannot address that. the reason is, the most recent data available at the census tract level, the neighborhood level, is sort of a five-year average that went from 2006 until 2010. it is centered on 2008. it is not picking up yet the effect of the great recession. probably about another couple of years before we have that since census level track data. this was already apparent in the 1980's, but it has been a
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gradual increase in economic segregation that we are observing. host: here is the next set of statistics. the share of lower income households residing in lower- income tracks in the 10 largest areas. new york is first. 41%. philadelphia, 30% houston and dallas, 37%. miami, 32%. atlanta, 26%. what is the difference between the major northeastern cities with party established neighborhoods versus high- growth cities in the metropolitan area? guest: on these 10, remember that what it takes to be low income is changing across the
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city. what is surprising is once you sort of make this metropolitan adjustment, the percentage of households that are low income is typically ride around 30%. it is interesting that there really are these metropolitan specific patterns and an area like atlanta and is very surprising. it has grown very quickly, particularly since they hosted the olympics in 1996. they are a metroplex that has a lot of growth. they see a lot of internal and international migration. yet, their concentration of the poor in poor neighborhoods actually fell from 1980 until -- as opposed to what we see here in new york. we see much more established communities without the amount of population change and growth that atlanta had and yet, it observes the highest level of concentrated low-income.
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host: good another factor be in migration of wealthy young professionals into poor neighborhoods? guest: yes. i think there is probably some of both. the study did not explore sort of why this is going on. but, i agree. i pointed out the low scale migration, but in deed, as well, particularly if you talk about the southwest, affluent retirees from the old snowbelt go down and gentrify areas like phoenix or austin. i agree that part of what is happening here is both low scale in migration as well as college-educated in migration. host: --
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host: next call is rick from florida. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. wonderful topic. the world needs to have more of this. i am the richest poor man that he will ever know. i am just blessed with a whole situation that i am in. i am probably the luckiest guy that you will ever know. as far as the people, it is hard to break into a rich neighborhood. i just wonder how we will break out of this. how do we take the middle-class and said it into a situation where they're comfortable again? the middle class is just disappearing. you either have money or you don't.
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where do we go? host: thank you. i want to mix in this tweet -- host: in fact, is that the story or is it the demise of the middle class center with mixed neighborhoods that we are talking about? guest: the study shows a vast majority of neighborhoods are are still mixed income. we are seeing some separation now that we think is because of the changes in income. what will happen to change it -- one thing is critical is the leadership at the local level. no law or federal system can compensate for strong local leaders.
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for any sort of development to happen, you have to have a partnership with the community. that being said, congress made it a little more difficult by cutting funding for programs like the community development block grant and others which exist to improve neighborhoods that are in decline in order to give families a chance to find employment and join the middle class. i think our fear is that in this debate to solve the deficit, local level concerns about community development are not really rising to the surface and we may get lost in the shuffle. as a result, cities will not have very many tools to stop this trend. host: cities are looking for community development, but what has happened over the past 20 years is the closure of a lot of plants use to feed people's
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solid jobs. how can that kind of work be replaced by the programs you are talking about? guest: it is a holistic situation. one program alone will not save cities. a couple of good examples where cities are doing well is new orleans. they take advantage of the workforce investment at dollars for employment. they look at transportation situations to make sure folks in neighborhoods in decline can get to their jobs or to their work force training. wichita, kan. has training for their airplane industry. that is great. they help folks get their ged's and then put them through that manufacturing course and it
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helps keep the plant in the city. it also trains folks who may not have been initially interested in getting an education in those sorts of areas. host: this set of numbers is the flip side of this. host: for many of the big cities hovering around 15%, what is happening in houston and dallas that have them so much higher? guest: i cannot speak to the exact particulars, but again, partly what is going on is it is reflecting the population dynamics. if you are familiar with dallas, it is an area where you would think that back in 1980, they would have had a large
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hispanic population. relative to many other parts of texas, that was not the case. dallas is in some ways one of our new immigration cities along with atlanta or charlotte. dallas experienced a large influx of mexican immigration. houston, again, large-scale international migration. it was not so much mexicans, it was more central americans, hurricane mitch refugees. these texas communities, as well as miami, one factor that is coming into play is the international migration flows that they have experience. host: next call is from. host: next call is from. in rhode island. good morning. caller: good morning. i find this conversation rather interesting because it really does not seem to reflect very much in reality.
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i am 53. the rich have always relatively lived among the rich. middle-class neighborhoods were always distinctly middle class. the poor always live in poor neighborhoods. what i think the reality is and i find it interesting -- it should not be interesting because pew does that seem to be curious about the real issues of poverty. when you have policies, for example, bill clinton had rahm emanuel impose nafta illegally. they supported open borders. poor people cannot afford to rent an apartment. it in rhode island, we have had too many developments. you have a lot of arts the
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people from the college's living there and you have mostly illegal aliens in subsidized housing. ok? this has nothing to do with housing the poor. this has everything to do with just playing games. it is not living in reality. if you outsource the main ability of people to lift themselves out of poverty and join the middle class, you'll have middle-class growth. he will destroy the middle class. [unintelligible] host: all right. thank you. i will turn to michael wallace. guest: folks in the neighborhood -- especially if you are living in low-income, you grow impatient for change.
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i think change takes a long time, but it can be frustrating. i will say that it is difficult to see how someone can lift themselves out of poverty without actually having a place to live. he sort of have to meet the immediate needs first before you can get into things like to have training and assistance. as far as public housing for immigrants, it has been illegal for illegal immigrants to receive public housing benefits. that is probably not happening. host: she talked about that created community, which was to create an incentive for those people receiving assistance living next to middle or upper income falls. can you point to robust examples -- guest: we someone in ventura, california.
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there is a very artsy committee that is geared towards artists and students, but is also attached to low-income units and homeless units. it is right there in the building. it is right downtown in ventura. it has been very successful. one reason is because it is a lot easier to attract students into what you might call market for housing around a higher degree of very low income folks then it would be in traditional households. host: this is a question from twitter -- host: i wanted to ask if you would validate her assertion. there are all kinds of cities with major foreclosure issues. some of them are detroit, cleveland. then, the epicenter is las vegas and arizona. are cities responding?
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guest: it has been a huge challenge. people will say this is the second wave of foreclosures coming. i would say it has been continuous, especially for michigan and nevada. they got the double hit when the economy went down. that has been a significant challenge. i think they have struggled with it the best they can. there are some federal programs that have helped, but nowhere near the amount to meet the needs. host: this next chart really talks about the change happening in the southwest. 1980 until 2010 and how much that percentage has changed. the southwest has had the highest rate of change. why is that?
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guest: i keep focusing on atlanta. one of the very distinct characteristics is it is one metro area where the concentration of low income residents in low-income neighborhoods actually fell over the past 30 years. i am not an expert on the area, but my understanding is that atlanta, like chicago and the older metro areas, there was a concentrated effort to remove the public housing projects that were erected in the 1960's. i am not sure when that occurred. that was a conscious effort. that probably has led to -- it is the one metro areas where the poor in poor neighborhoods
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is significantly diminished. in terms of the change over 30 years, the southwestern metros and texas metros are the ones that have really experienced a lot of change both in lower and lower income neighborhoods and the affluent in affluent neighborhoods. host: residential income segregation in the u.s.. overall neighborhoods are showing signs of changing. we are seeing less black, white segregation in cities and increasing segregation by income. that is what we are talking about. a tweet -- guest: it is a major point. you can really sustain development unless there are
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jobs. if you allow in a rut in decline to continue to decline, if you have common concerns about crime and these people will not be paying any sort of taxes. local governments have falling revenues and they cannot provide as many services as they used to, but they are doing their best just to prevent further decline. host: next is louisiana. lee roy, you are on the air. caller: how are you doing? my question is about the baby boomers. i like to know how are the baby boomers doing economically? do they really know why? host: is there an age demographic that would overlay the results? guest: this study did not look
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at age. i am pretty sure in census tract data come age is not available. at least at the neighborhood level, i am not quite sure how one would do that. pew has done generational studies. the baby boomers are hitting 65. the leader boomers are barely into their 50's. i would say from that body of research that i have worked on on age differences, as far as the seniors go, those over 65 have been less impacted by the great recession and in some ways, relative to three decades ago, america's seniors -- they do have the highest poverty
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rate, but they are less poor than they once were. that is not really 65 -- that is not really today's baby boomers. one of the major concerns is them coming into retirement and what has happened to the value of their houses and how well prepared they are for retirement. that is an open question. host: we have been asking people about their neighborhoods -- guest: if a developer's motivation is to make a profit, they will not put a lot of thoughts behind how to create low-income units. however, there are ways to make sure that they are set aside.
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if you are going to do revitalization, it will become more expensive. to live there, the idea is to make sure that there is a plan in place to benefit the people currently residing -- host: it seems as though it is a good thing for cities to rehash industrial areas that are no longer functional. we have seen that in d.c. over in the area along the river. guest: the other thing is it is people are buying their first household coming out of college. those folks do not want to live in the suburbs. they're returning back to the city. or returning back to the central city area. it is interesting that federal policies have been geared toward revitalizing downtown because of the flight to the suburbs. now, we are seeing foreclosures in the suburbs and programs geared towards the center city. the suburbs are starting to feel it a little bit and they
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are thinking, there is not a whole lot of federal help. they used to have such a great tax base, but now they have the same problems the inner city has. host: the best policy in migration happens is to make sure that the resulting neighborhood is next? guest: yes. it is in the interest of folks to set aside a certain percentage of properties that basically serve as the incubator for folks to get to the middle class. host: california. sally is on the line. go ahead. caller: hi, there. i am upper-middle-class, college-educated. i have an entrepreneurial background. i have bounced down to low income, partially because i have been in the court system
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for three years, fighting a hedge funder. i started an internet company in my home. that whole journey has been beyond the latter. i have learned about harsh reality of the regulators. that is an aside. i do some work for a contractor that is doing a lot of flips of low income housing going into the areas that were typically 4 the poor. they're putting money into these units and fixing them up. what he is talking about -- i am familiar with that. you are granting development permits where they have a percentage of the unit that are
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directed towards the lower income and all, my gosh. it is competitive to get on that list. you have to be in the area for a number of years and get on the list for a number of years before you can even get considered to be getting into these units. when i look at the top, it says economic segregation increasing. from my personal situation and what i am observing, and i am in an area of the country with pretty high income, the south central coast, economic segregation is increasing. it seems that many people are having to house together or having to come together with family members or friends just to make it. host: we are running out of
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time, but thank you. she is the kind of person that will show up in the next set of numbers that you have . people that were in a different income class and are staying in place, but are in a different part of the study because of the 2008 recession. guest: yes. the great recession involved the housing market so much that we will see that in a couple of years. we will see whether it is impacting the metros. host: wonderful tweets -- host: we are just about out of time. i will take a call from pennsylvania. john is on the line. go ahead. caller: i wanted to ask about rural housing. i also wanted to make a comment that central banks rob the poor because there is no money
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created to cover the interest. for a long time, the wealthy become extremely more wealthy because interest is sucking the base rase out of the people./ along with the industrialization of the americas. they are shipping our jobs overseas and we are now working in a 1970 wage level. it will continue to force more and more poverty. host: thank you. on twitter -- yes. as we close out, what are the implications of this? guest: it remains to be seen how we will solve the foreclosure prices.
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congress has to figure out what to do with fannie mae and freddie mac. host: and there is the 8% unemployment level, which we are reminded of. guest: the federal deficit is important. you know, what is happening now with this debate in congress is -- they're going to redo the intergovernmental partnership. it looks like there will be less of a partnership at the local level. the challenge for local leaders , i hate to say it, do more with less. this is a time for them to share with each other what is working and the best ways to do it.
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>> more about this at pew. you can find it on pew website. if you could have asked one more set of questions, what would you have asked? we did not get into a black-white segregation in america. this is doable. to see how in terms of african- americans, asians, whites, how their income patterns moves across neighborhoods. host: we might becoming more racially integrated? guest: that line is diminishing
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since the 1970's. host: thank you for being here. >> tomorrow, mark potok examines hate groups in the u.s. dan stein talks about the obama administration's plan for a reprieve on deportations. and joshua discusses his book the 18 day running mate. "washington journal" is at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. next, a discussion about the 2012 campaign. then a forum on state voter i.d. laws. and then a panel on voter rights by the end -- naacp. >> sunday, look for our interview with andrew nagorski. >> i had no idea about the
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experiences of people who were my predecessors in berlin. despite all of the comments, i have not spent a lot of time thinking, what would it have been like to have been a correspondent in the 20's 130's. how would you have operated? what would you have noticed? >> sunday at 8:00 on c-span's q&a. >> now i discussion about the mood of the american electorate. two pollsters offered their latest results at the annual legislative summit in chicago. you will hear from neil newhouse and peter hart. this is just under an hour. e certainly live in interesting times.
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the enomy, the election, the reform, and the fundamental role of government are all dominating our national stage as we head into november. this morning, we will hear from two respected veteran pollsters to share their insights into what americans think about our countr now, how it is change, and what it means for all of us as we head into 2012 elections and yond. because i have such important things to say, we're going to keep them an extra 15 minutes. do not rush out to your committee sessions. they will all be starting 15 minutes later. peter hart is one of the leading analysts in th u.s. since 1971, he has been chairman at research associates. the national journal added him
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to their list of national leaders who helped shape government policy, and characterizing him as probably the foremost washington pollster of the democratic party and the centrist candidate. neil newhous is a co-founder of public opinion strategies. he is the leading republican -- you were still leading republican polling company in the country. he wasn't pollster of the year -- political consultants 0 he was named pollster of the year by political consultants. he is working to get mitt romney in the white house. please welcome peter hart and neil newhouse.
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[applause] ♪ >> good morning. i am peter hart and i am delighted to be here with neil. we both agree it is unfair that we have to borrow her. we will be talki about the 20 took the election and doing back-and-forth. last night, i had an operation. i will tell you, i saw three pen front of the pearly gates. it was newt gingrinch and neil newhouse. neil looked at the two, a
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little uncertain newt gingrinch, a door number one. he goes behind door number one. there is a barking dog, sitting there and growling and barking. a voice comes over the loudspeaker and says, newt gingnch, you have sinned. he will spend all of your life with this growling dog. a voice comes over the loudspeaker and says, door mber two. what does he see? cyclops, slobbering and the ruldrooling. senator, you have sinned.
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he will spend the rest of your days with the cyclops. neil is looking a little uncertain at this moment. neil newhouse, door number three. he opens the door and there is pelope cruz. the voice comes ov the speaker and says, penelope cruz, you have sinned. [laughter] [applause] oh, man, it is great to be with neilven though he is working with mitt romney. what i thought i would do is talk about where we are in america anwhat is happening. i do the nbc poll.
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i have been doing it for 23 years. neil and i have a great honor of doing it four years ago. let me go into the slight. let me begin with where we are in terms of the nation. elections are about the mood and where are and what it is about. the first thing that you need to know is how the country feels about it self. essentially, only 30% of americans believe things are heading in the right direction. 60% say we are on the wrong track. as an incumbent, that sets the tone. the tone for presidentbama will be a challenging tone. it will be more challenging by the fact that america's optimism about where we are economically indeed says this is a country full of challenges. i will talk about thethat more
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later. there is a change of where we are in the world. it has to do -- our trust in institutions has dropped dramatically. it used to be we trusted most institutions. today, outside of our military and outside fire man, policemen, those kinds of things, our test has dropped. it is not make any difference whether it is the media or congress of the state legislatures, everything in the financial fields were down to 9% in the area of confidence. the othething that is important to understand is our sense of where we are in the world. all of these things have changed. we asked this question about 17 years ago. looking a generation ahead, which country do you think will
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be the leading economic power? 54% said the u.s.. 2% said china. today, it is 40% saying each of them. the change of our security of where we are at is tremendous. finally, we asked the question -- how many of you are better off than your parents were? hand sup. up.ands how many of you believe your children will be better off than you are? in any respect, that sense that we will not be handed up the concorde for the first time in 13 generations gives you a sense that if you are an incumbent and your an incumbent president of the united states, these are hard times to run in.
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the second thing to understand -- we have everything working except their remote. chance we could move to the next screen? there we go. economic competence. they do and economic confidence question. thank you. we have done it over the course of the last 55 years. essentially, when a president is above 85 in terms of confidence -- we're not talking about 85% -- of their chances of re- election are excellent. when it is below 85, it means that we are still reassessing times that are difficult. if you could switch, you can see
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the difficulty facing jimmy carter. next slide please. take a lk at ronald reagan. he was above 85 the whole way. he won re-election easily. look at bush 41. on at the end did he get to 85 too late in the campaign. what happened after that in the next campaign, look at bill clinton -- next chart please. thank you. he went above the line in 1992 and 1996. he won re-election easily. look at bush 43. he won a narrow election, but economic confidence was up. here is what barack obama faces in 2012. those numbers are well below 85. they are at 73 right now. will confidence built in the next four months?
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will it be enough? will it help? we talk about that, i am asking you to look at the macro and not the michael situation in terms of where we are as a country -- micro situation in terms of where we are as a country. let the talk about what you all know about. this is the campaign that we have and what is out there. if the american public has a letter and -- lever and they could pull that lever to get rid of a member of congress, 54% said they would pull it. both obama and romney are running a negative campaign or
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neither, 75% said that if the least 1 candidate was running a negative campaign. 34% say both of them. this is what the american people are saying, feeling, and reacting to. neil has tremendous stats. next slide please. when we asked them in an open ending question -- by the way, a every time i mention nbc poll -- the bigger the words, the more deeply said. "fix the economy." "focus on important issues." "be honest."
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"smaller government." the public is calling for someone to give them a sense of where we can go from all of this. all we have is a lot of slimed going back and forth. that is republican and democrat and it is exactly the opposite of what the american public wants. let me talk about where we are. next slide please. in our latest nbc journal poll, the interesting thing is what counts are the subgroups. the president has a huge advantage with women. he is losing the male folks ightly. the midwest is absolutely key. it could be wisconsin or ohio
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or missouri. we have the president ahead. independent is a critical block. romney is ahead. if i can look at one group and what is going to happen, it is a women for obama. this election has a long way to run. anyone who tells you we know how it will turn out, do not believe them. the fact of the matter is, everything that we know about the elections, everything says it is going to be excessively close. it will come down to the wire. all of these things say where we are. next slide, please. it tells us about america. this election is not about the country as a whole.
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it is about 12 states. in fact, if yo look at whether it is illinois or georgia, and neither of those states count. one is a red and one is blue. you go in 38 states and know how exactly it will turn out. it is the swing states that make the difference. if you look at the states, in every element we can see, essentially obama is doing better in the swing states ann romney is at this stage of the game. -- than romney at this stage of the game. in terms of how obama is handling the economy, romney is doing better in those states. they have made their cases in the swing states. that is it is. next slide, please. elections are about one thing
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-- voters. voters that decide to go to the polls account. the measurement that we used four years ago is the one at we use today. how much enthusiasmnd interest do you have? if you are a nine or a tent on the scale, and we know that he will turn out. -- ten on the scale, we know that you will turn out. at this stage in the game, the republicans have a six. advantage, 74-68. that is a huge turnaround one way or another. for democrats, the question of two groups -- will they turn out? first, will people under the age of 30 father to turn out? at this stage, there at 5-0 in
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interest. you could turn off the lights in any number of states whether it be colorado or nevada or virginia or any of those states. the democrats are down in terms of in tuesday as them. next slide. -- enthusiasm. next slide. it is a vote that comes from a feeling. we asked people in their own words of what they think of a barack obama. a lot of human qualities come out. "for the people." onest." "good job."
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"health reform." he has a very rounded out profile and one that is positive. on the negative side of things, the economy is overwhelming. then you get the sensef disappointment in terms of incompetent, too much spending, obamacare, liberal socialist. the mplaints are all on the professional side. a lot of the good parts are the personal side. next slide. i do a lot of focus groups. i care aboutfocus groups because it is a great way to find out what people are thinking. one of the questions i love to ask people is something that relates to their lives in a personal way. let us take these three
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candidates. let's suppose they were in the fifth grade. what do you think it would have been like as fifth graders? i put of various types of people. push the next button, please. i have the nerd, the respected, the loner, the teacher's pat, the bully, the storm athlete, the know it all. i asked who they thought it gingrich would be. push the button. "know it all." who was mitt romney? "rich privilege kid." for obama, "teacher's pet."
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let us suppose you can go to the ball game with either barack obama or mitt romney. 9 out of 12 said obama. why? he would be fun. with mitty'd go romney. why? he has the limo, he would buy the beer, the hot dogs, and the soda. at the end of the day, it really comes down to how i look at the people and how i feel about them. this is a challenge facing mitt romney. he is in his own way is only known on religion, occupation,
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and they know his wealth. there is no personal element to him. he is a businessman. he is a conservative. he represents a chae. some people say he will fix the economy or against obamacare. go to the negative side. next slide. all of these things give you a sense of where people are coming from. favors the rich, bad policy, women issues, flip slapper, a big business, untrustworthy. there is this sse that he has not figured out how to make that coection on the personal level. next slide. where it all leads to - essentially on the personal level when we asked for a comparison on easygoing and
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cares about people on and compassionate, huge obama lead. when it comes to the professionallements, you would expect obama to have an advantage. he has a major advantage in foreign policy. the same with a slight advantage in terms of knowledgeable and commander in chief. turn to the other side. when it comes to the question of improving the economy are changing business, indeed romney has the advantage. you get the dynamics that this election and where it is comg from. what i would tell you if we could flip to the next slide -- essentially i simply say to you, look, or the past 30 days, this is the person who has made more self inflicted errors then you
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can imagine. his inability to release his taxes, his wealth, the olympics, bain, all of those things. we have 90 more days to go. a lot is out there. i want to conclude was something i feel very strongly and personal about. it is a series feeling about where we are in the country. 10 days ago, like you who is watching the olympics spectacular opening cerony. watching that athletes walking around the track was a feeling that all americans -- the joy, that humanity, and the pride in the positive energy that those ceremonies gave us. i returned and i looked to
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juxtapose it to the presidential campaign. all of that adds, the super pacs, the candidates, essentially iis anything but the most important and powerful office in the world. of the olympics lifted our spirits, expectations, and possibilities. the campaign is only the opposite. each of us, every citizen must take personal responsibility the campaigns are run in our name which we were or can contribute to. 2012 is going to be the most expensive campaign and the most negative campaign in the history of mankind. we look at this series issues that senator durban raised and the headlines from spain to
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greece and afghanistan. the strife abroad and at home is more significant and more important than the campaign the american people are receiving. with the help of pollsters, you, and the politicians have figured out how to win and election. now the key is really to figure out how to knit a nation together and find a compromi and solve our major domestic issues right in front of us. to me, that is a message of 2012. thank you. [applause] >> let's might start with a story -- let me start with a story in the definition of a
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pollster. i live in virginia, but from kansas are originally. alexandria, virginia is the capital of political consultants. my wife is a reformed political erative and a stay at home mom. jargonized a meeting one day. she isntroducing herself -- she held a meeting monday. she was introducing herself around. so when astor, what does your husband do? he is a pollster. she paused for a second before asking, how nice. you must gethairs for free.
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people seem to think you need to be short and balding to be a pollster these days. i will go through some of our data. i went to make sure that i did not replicate anything that peter was doing. i want to touch on -- next slide. this is off the record. [laughter] as i left the boston yesterday, we're talking. next slide.
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the nominee will be -- next slide. one of these four people. it could be one of these four. or it could be one of these three. all on the list. i am not sure to break any news, unfortunately. the vp will be one of those names. here is what is important -- voters do not know mitt romney very well. once he gets to the convention, it will be a balance -- hwill
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balance. ifou look at these numbers, usually an incumbent gets a 7 point balance in terms of boating preference. the good news for us is that the challenger gets more because voters did not kno the challenger very well. more important for governor romney is that it is the image of the challenger that really changes the convention. the challenger goes to the convention at an average of a favorable or unfavorable score. what you are seeing right now at the poll is what will happen in november -- you could not be more wrong.
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it is august. th will take another look at these candidates. that will happen pretty on. second, obama's challenge in this election is his record. he started off his campaign with positive advertising and gave that up and started running negative ads against romney. i do not think you can move numbers in a presidential race using positive advertising, especially if you are the incumbent president. look of the job numbers. voters have come to the decision about president obama. but voters are undecided about
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health, but they want a change. what they are undecided about is mitt romney. that is why barack obama is attacking romney. just as peter had his favorite questions and focus groups, i have mine. here are the questions we asked -- if you could describe back obama as an animal, what would he be? jeb bush stillives me trouble for the focus groups we did for him. this is an interesting exercise. here is what voters had to say. first, he is a deer in the
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headlights. he does not say much. he is confused. he is a lack of a creature, but he makes you wonder what is there -- likable creature, but he makes you wonder what is there. he is a turtle, slow movement. he is an, he has delivered nothing -- ass, he has not delivered nothing. that resentment -- finally, a butterfly. what this indicates is a real disappointment with president obama.
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they voted for real change in 2008 and they did not get it. they are still hopeful, but they did not get the change there looking for. there is the sense that they voted for a transformation leader in barack obama, and what they have now is a politician that is really no different. it is buyer's remorse. iowa feel like they put him in office over hillary clinton because of the caucuses. there is even more buyer's remorse. ronald reagan ran across the jimmy carter in 1980. what he asked was, are you better off than four years ago that?
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the question we should be asked now is, did not expect to be better off now? do not expect things would be different and better now? it plays on the expectations an the concern of the disappointment that americans feel. if this was a sketball bracket, 47% is a precarious position. as you know, this is an election in iowa, north carolina, ohio -- the job
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approval numbers are under water. here is the key. it is not where he is in terms of -- two things -- it is where he is in the intensity of his approval. that drives turned out agast him. look at these numbers from a year ago. president obama is much woe off a year ago that he is now. bit momentume has a little even though these numbers are pretty negative. the other part is the challenges that obama has is that you cannot think of many ads that he has run talking about how great economy is doing even though he has alluded to it a couple of times by saying the private ctors dog fi.
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he cannot run the economy. if he told americans we have turned the corner, who would believe him? there is a sense of frustration with that debt. he does not have the policies to turn the country around. americans are less optimistic about this than there were a few months ago. he is trying to make this a contest in himself -- contrast the chin himself and romney. cbs times a couple of weeks ago. americans were asked if barack obama is reelected, d a think his policies will improve your own financial situation, -- do you think his policies will improve your own financial situation? if mitt romney iit is almost asf
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they are saying, i like this guy. i respect him. the first african american president. you have to respect his accomplishments, but his policies have failed. it is not that he has failed, but his policies are not making anything better. he has run out of ideas. for others, it is like he has thrown in the towel. that is the frustration that they feel. that is his talent. our challenge is a significant one. for romney, it is more about definition, who he is. 20% of americans say they need to know him. 9% of americans are undecided in this race right now. another 3% and 4% say he can change their mind. they are open to persuasion. voters want to know more about
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running. when you look at these numbers, the most important problem facing the country 57% say it is the economy and jobs. which candidate can do better, mitt romney by 10 points. on taxes by 4. are we leading? no. barack obama is likable and trustworthy. likability does not put jobs in ohio. likability will not help a family balance their over all budget. but there is a sense that obama relates more to average people. that is the challenge that we face in the campaign. the fourth thing you need to know, if you live in carolina,
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florida, the target states, you know this. this is campaign spending like you have never seen before. this'll be a level that is unprecedented. let me show you a few statistics. first of all, the estimated broadcast advertising for the presidential campaign, presidential want $1 billion. cable ad, $200 million. if you live in texas, you will not see a single ad. if you live in ohio, good luck to you. this amount of money spent so far. $455 million in ohio. 64 million in florida. 91 million ithe florida.
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167 ads per day in cleveland. they are being pound by advertising, day and night. if you think you're getting more of it and have before, the reason is because you are. there is more spent in july 2012 charlotte, north carolina then in october 2008. this is unprecedented. i think it will get worse. finally, make sure you understand there is a path to victory in electoral college. first of all, romney will start with the mccain states. he starts where he left off.
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there are simply states out there that we will not be competitive in. we will lose those states. it comes down to 14 different states where the election will play out. there is one road map, one path that is easy to explain. it is called the 3-2-1 plan. indiana is less competitive. no one is on air in the presidential campaign. north carolina, we have a narrow lead. virginia is ground zero in the upcoming election. virginia, ohio, and florida. ohio and florida are the next two states. again, that are on the bubble in terms of how competitive their states will be. if you look at nothing else, if
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when candidate went ohio or florida and virginia, that would raise the boat. if you win all three of those, the campaign is over. everything from iowa to wisconsin, etc. my favorite one is ohio because remorse. buyer's there are reluctant to reelect a guy. that is one plan to get to 3-2- 1. it is an easy way to expln the states that will be key. here are a couple of key takeaways. first, but we capture in our purpose groups is debt. i thought the economy would be different. i thought would be better. i thought we would be further
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along. many americans have doubts whether obama can do the job. second, it is not which candidate can fix the economy over all, but which candidate can fix my economy. who will help me balance my budg? it is the sense that running cares about middle class americans that will really resonate. romney cares about middle class americans that will really resonate. it is that better or worse in electing someone new. when people go to the polls, and they will be asking themselves that question. finally, can i vote already?
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if you are in the target states, americans want the election to happen immediately. they want to stop the negative ads. we can play this out. the debates will be important. the conventions will be important. advertising may still be negative, but the issue will be debated. that will be worth it. those of four questions voters will have at the end. before we open it up to questions, i have this baseball signed, "to peter hart. this is not from barack obama. from mitt romney." [laughter] [applause]
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it says i throw a good curveball. [laughter] >> thank you. we have some questions on the screen in front of us. we will tackle the is and go from there. what is the most sought ter group in election? white, suburban women who are dependent are key in this election. both campaigns are fighting like crazy for em. and a northern virginia, ohio, but i i white, suburban women.
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>> i totalyl agree. -- i totally agree. they will look up the social and cultural policies other republicans. it agreement -- brings them back to the democratic side. they care about that education and environmental issues. the democrats have that in with them. >> if you take a look, we have done a lot of research for wal- mart moms. it is all online and available. if you can understand how these women talk about issues, it goes a long way from how you talk about issues. it is enlightening staff. when these women top of the upcoming election, did not talk
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about in terms of themselves, but their kids. they arerying to make life better for their children. one woman in one of the focus group started donating blood on a regular basis in order to help make ends meet for their family. go on line and look for those focusroups and the wal-mart moms. >> next thing we were asked and we heard a lot about was a political gridlock. will the public send a message? one of the things we have done in the nbc wall street journal poll is that we get as many votes for a third-party candidate at this stage of the perot. rosross
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everything in the numbers i have talked about is that the american public is one match away from revolution. if you do not believe how upset and disgusted the american public is, you are not listening. we go to focus groups. talk to people. every single element says to them, i cannot stand with you are doing. i cannot stand the way that you are doing it. given all of that, i have to tell you that see this frustration. will it generate itself in 2012 with 90 days to go? i do not believe it will, but i do believe that -- think of all
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the work -- i ink the potential for an independent, third party, something that breaks the mold is there. we are in a transitional age and transformational page at this stage of the game. if you think the arab spring is over there and no place ee, it takes so little today to be able to organize. all i can tell you is we understand and see where the public is is at. >> he went through the political environment stuff earlier on. putting it into some context, this is the longest time of sustained pessimism since we started pullinollinh. -- polling. many say america is on the wrong track.
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there could be another change in election this fall. america is saying that they will keep voting people out until they get it right. >> it is interesting. it was lovely for neil to give me this ball. it is unbelievable. from my point of view looking at it as an analyst, rob makes a lot of sense. the double down in budget areas. is is a person who has been the standard for the democrats. he will be good in the debate. he is smart. he knows everything.
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the one thing that i will tell neil as he put down his 11 different people, the one thing we know is that one person choice on one day. bob jeter, our good friend and former republican pollster, knew it was going to be john danford. in the end, it turned around and it was dan quayle. whatever you know, whatever you think, mitt romney, one ch oice, one time. >> keep in mind, our predictions are good for today only. we have 90 days to go. this'll be an extraordinary election cycle. i agree with peter in the type
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of issues that will be debated. this'll be a big election over big issues and not little issues. americans will be decided which candidate they feel can better address the future of the economy and bring the economy back along. the next 90 days will be exciting. would you rather have the election next week or 90 days from now? i am loving every day of it. i am anxious to see what will happen 90 days from now. i do not want to rush it. i think the debate will be educational for america. it will shine a light on these two candidate. americans will make the right choice. >> i want to congratulate you on csl. i d a focus group yesterday and neil will do one with
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several republicans. the seriousness of what you come to these proceedings and the convention is impressive. it is that which the american public would love to be able to see. i congratulate you. we will be back for a fifth time. they told us until we get it right, they will continue to have us back. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> a heritage foundation forum on state bogor ideologues. a discussion about economic segregation and its impact on american cities. >> this weekend, we are selling
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george washington's personal property. we will start the bidding at a $1,300,000. $1,300,000. $1,400,000. >> said sunday at 7:00, christie's auction, a draft of the bill of rights, it includes washington's handwritten notes. more from the contenders, our series that looks at key political figures who ran for president and lost. >> as it has been said, in the worst of times, a great people must do the best of things. >> this week, hubert humphrey. sunday at 7:30, american history
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tv. >> the heritage foundation and -- looks set to fairness in election and voter identification of laws. the colorado and kansas secretaries of state. we will also hear from the president and founder of true the vote. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> good afternoon. my name is todd gaziano. i am the director of the center for legal and judicial studies at the heritage foundation. welcome to our discussion. the heritage foundation is a very pleased to be able to co- sponsor today's discussion was such a distinguished panel with true the vote.
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i will introduce its founder and president, and i will let her introduced the speakers she has assembled. i will come back to the podium to pose a question or two and recognize audience members. we want to welcome those of you here in our auditorium, but those of you watching on the internet and those from c-span and cbs who are also watching today's event. the topic up-to-date's discussion is of significant concern to all of us. i might or might not interject a few thoughts later, but i am appointed by the house of representatives to be a commission on the u.s. commission on civil rights. it is a special duty of the commission on civil rights to examine voting rights as a special charge in our statute. we canainly agree witthat
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do a better job improving elections in the u.s. i will give a brief introduction catherine engelbrecht catherine, who is the founder and president of true the vote. prior to 2009, she had a low national profile. she was primarily known as a mom and wife and business owner. in 2009, she did something admirable. in houston, texas, she started the first of two non-partisan organizations to increase citizen involvement in the election. catherine engelbrecht is our -- true the vote is our co-
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sponsor today. recently, it has been listed one of the 50 politicos to watch. the important work of a mother, wife, and business owner to be recognized. it is an organization in sheet created in houston. it filled an important need. and incurred citizens to be more active and helping ensure -- it encouraged citizens to be more active. those a year in politics know there is a desperate need -- approachmprehensive for fair elections. true the vote provides state
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specific training to help citizens fill the role to help in election integrity. she can talk about your own organization and the needs better than i can. i wish that her organization and others like it continue to flourish. with that, why do not take over at the podium? >> thank you. thank you heritage for the great privilege to co-sponsor this event and. today we will hear from their distinguish speakers on the subject of integrity. but why? why this panel? why are you here? you have heard it said from
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todd, but i want to take a step back and tell you what i am here. i was a wife and mom -- frankly i still am, but my role has changed. in 2009, a very small group of us in houston heard that there was a need for people to work at the polls. what happened was what ultimately said true the vote into motion. on that day, we saw everything from confusion about the very
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process by which we have to count our votes all the way through to what can only be described as election fraud. we saw people who would come in and did not show any form of identification whatsoever and be allowed to vote. in texas, you have to show something. in some of the 50 states, you do not have to show anything. in texas, you do. people coming in with multiple registration cards. the voter approaches the table, presents a registration card, and it has been told that that registration card has already been voted. they present another one and they are told they can vote. we saw people come in and be told that their vote had already been cast by mail-in. that would have a blank look like, i did not vote mail-in. we also saw people who would come in and prepare to vote only
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to open the book and see that their name had already been signed but it was not their signature. when you see things like that -- let me preface it by saying in the majority of places, we had great experiences, experiences that make you proud to be an american, like you were really contributing. there were enough of us that have such similar stories that we recognized, this might be something we need to take a closer look at. it made you wonder, if this is what is happening when people are watching, what happens when no one shows up? that is an all too common problem that i came to understand much better. we have about half the number of necessary poll volunteers across the country. it is a big problem because our system was always built around the expectation that citizens
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would be involved. when we advocate our duty, leave the field, there is a void. the boy has got to be filled with something. we grew into an organization that looks at all the ways in which citizens can get involved in the process and we set about trying to build a process that would support that engagement. how name scott added to the voter registries, looking at the registry itself, collecting data all along the way so that when the state legislative sessions came back in, if there was need for election reform, at least there was data to support it. you had empirical evidence you could point to and say, these things really did happen. it begins to clear some of the fog of the conversation. we started out with the
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intention of working locally and hoping one day that maybe this would catch on nationally. i guess it is just a sign of the times we live in. things happen very quickly. flash forward, here we are, active in 35 states. supporting hundreds of citizen- led election integrity organizations, many of which contacted us after seeing similar things in their states, in some cases much worse. and they wanted to be part of the problem. if you're sick of forwarding e- mails to one another and being outraged about this or that, true the vote is an opportunity to actually make a difference. if our growth continues, we believe we might mobilize up to 1 million new volunteers up to the election process between now
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and 2012. that is what brings me here. my desire to true the vote, to know with certainty that our votes counted and are counted. when you feel that, all of the politics, all of the narratives, all the posturing, when you talk to average american voters, they are concerned. that is why true the vote has become a national movement in such a short period of time. there is a consensus that we must put our elections first. we must be able to depend upon the accuracy of those elections because the leaders go on to lead our country. that is why these leaders are here. i suspect that is why you're here. something is not quite right. and we know it. in the last 10 years, there have been prosecutions or convictions in 46 states on counts of election fraud.
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margins of victory are tightening, also made -- often major elections are decided by only a few hundred votes. local elections are affected, but the process does affect national elections. in 2008, we saw an incumbent lose to a challenger by a margin of roughly 300 votes only to later learned that more than 300 votes had been illegally cast by felons. the outcome of that election gave the senate a democrat supermajority that allowed passage of historic fleet controversial legislation like the affordable health care act. had election laws not been broken, would that have happened? elections have consequences and we continue to see the erosion of process. the insufficiency of face guards. i just yesterday in kentucky, there was a lot of news coverage
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about a new drugs for votes scandal. people were being paid in drugs for the sale of their vote. reports out of new york, new mexico, virginia, florida, wisconsin, indiana, all reporting different types of election fraud subverting the processed in different ways but all with the same alarming implications. in april of this year, pew research center released a report that estimated 13% of our nation's voter registry is inaccurate. over 2 million dead voters on the rolls and hundreds of counties with more than 100% of their eligible population registered to vote. that is not good. according to a rocket -- a recent rasmussen poll, 64% of americans think voter fraud is a problem. something we should address. we are watching states trying to
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rectify the problem, restore integrity to the elections, meeting with outrageous levels of resistance in many cases from the federal government. state governments are being sued by our federal government because states are following federal law. the root of many federal cases is the issue of voter identification. 70% of americans agree that photo identification makes sense. they want it. somehow, there is a disconnect between what people want and what some politicians want, what some special interests seem to want. somehow, the will of these groups who pretend to speak for the people have effectively muzzled their voice.
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we are here to discuss what is working and what isn't working. there is a problem with election integrity. it does not stem from a lack of ingenuity or a lack of resources or a lack of importance. much of it stems from the reluctance to have tough conversations in a political environment that is less concerned about supporting the sanctity of american elections than they are about advancing a self-serving agenda. there are leaders who are stepping up and speaking out because if they do not, then the very cornerstone of our republic is at risk. a confident, engaged electorate leads to a united america. that is what everyone on this panel and i dare say everyone in this room wants. we want the united states. we want to be in agreement on
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issues of the election integrity. we do not want a divided state. that is the path down which we are heading. with us today are some of the leaders who have faced the breakdown of the system and are choosing to speak out, to take action in their states, and to protect liberty itself. we are pleased to be joined by our distinguished panelists. i will introduce each one and each one will take the podium and share with you their own comments. the first gentleman i would like to introduce is kris kobach, secretary of state in kansas. he has been a strong advocate of requiring voter i.d. at the polls and has led the way in overall improvement of our electoral process by developing a legislative program that includes provisions for security in mail-in ballots, laws requiring proof of citizenship while registering to vote, and requiring voter identification.
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his secure and fair elections process has seen great success in kansas. our next speaker will be scott gessler, secretary of state of colorado. he is fighting for election integrity in his state, consistently firing -- filing open records requests and checking names against the voter data base in an effort to improve the veracity of the database. prior to being secretary of state, he served on a bipartisan election boards and commissions including the election reform commission that has made many recommendations to the general assembly following the 2008 election. he has talked election law and has been widely recognized for his work. as secretary of state, it is his responsibility to protect the sanctity of colorado's elections. it is a task he takes seriously.
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our third speaker will be attorney general alan wilson. he realizes that voter fraud is a problem not only in his home state of south carolina but across the united states. in his state, he fought to prevent criminals and the occurrence of voter fraud. he found that of 953 ballots cast by voters who were listed as dead, 73% of those ballots were cast after those people died. that is amazing. our last speaker, artur davis of alabama. a former member of the democratic party, he served in the house of representatives from 2003-2008, representing the seventh district of alabama. he has been known to be a fighter in the house, never afraid to challenge the left or
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the right. he has been a vocal advocate for voter i.d., demanding that identification be required at the polls. i am confident that each of these panelists will bring to you a unique perspective of what we're seeing on the front lines in the states. without further ado, i will turn over the podium to secretary of state kris kobach. [applause] >> thank you, catherine and thank you all for being here and think you to the heritage foundation for hosting this even. when i was sworn in as the secretary of state in kansas, my objective was to set about drafting the strongest anti- voter fraud law possible in any state and to get it enacted and implemented as quickly as possible. we secured -- we succeeded in doing that. it was signed by the governor in april of 2011. most of the provisions took effect on january 1, 2012.
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as catherine mentioned, the safe and fair elections act combined three things. we are the first state to have photo identification at the polls, criminal protection for mail-in ballots. you have to have a signature verification before the mail-in ballot is sent out. and you have to have either a photocopy of a qualifying id or a full kansas driver's license number with the application coming in. thirdly, kansas requires proof of citizenship at the time new registered voters register to vote. the information presented to the state legislator showed -- to the state legislature was pretty compelling. we had credible cases of voter fraud between 1997 and 2010. that number is up to 235 if you
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count the 2010 election. we now have some early results from what the state achieved in its first six months. we have had lots of local elections. a total of 53 county and local elections since all went into effect. i will share with you some of the statistics we have seen already. i will throw a lot of numbers at you in a coherent way. the heritage foundation just recently issued a study of some of those results. if you are not able to copy these down, there are copies of the report outside the auditorium. 53 elections. just over 68,000 people voted. pretty huge sample size. bigger than any survey. 68,000 votes cast, of the 68,000 votes cast, 84 people showed up at the polls without a photo id.
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we have access to the driver's license data base. it turns out the vast majority of those people actually had a driver's license. they either forgot to bring it or chose not to bring it to make a political statement. if you look at that number, that is approximately 0.1%. all those people were given provisional ballots and they have either six or nine days to bring in a qualifying photo id to the county election office and to move their ballot from the provisional pile to the shelved and punched pile to make sure their vote is counted current 39 of them decided to do that, roughly half. the others saw the margins in the election and fought their vote would not make a difference so they did not want to do that. those numbers are pretty compelling. that is the beginning.
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additional numbers debunked prominent myths that critics of photo id laws are propagating. the first is that large percentages of the american public lack a photo id. most of us, going about our daily lives, no that is not true. most of us are hard-pressed to think of one person who lacks a photo id. at any rate, there are some groups who make outrageous claims, like the brennans center and nyu, claiming 11% of the american public lack a photo id. they're sticking with the old numbers rather than getting better numbers. the percentage of people who came in for the free non-driver idea that kansas makes available is astonishingly small.
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between january and may, only 32 people in the state out of a population of registered voters of 1.7 million, only 32 have come in and sign a form that lists all the acceptable forms of id and says, i do not have any of these forms of id. that is .002%. there is a second myth. photo id laws will have a racially-disproportion that impact on some races. this has been propagated by none other than the obama justice department. the numbers from kansas do not reflect that. the people who of come in and asked for a free id reflect the percentage of the various racial groups in the state of kansas. in addition, there is another falsehood. another false statement being
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propagated by people who oppose these laws. they claim that a photo id requirement only solves one form of voter fraud, up voter impersonation. i come to the polls impersonating you and try to cast a ballot. that is true. it also stops many other forms. three types of voter fraud that it prevents. one is voter impersonation. we had a case of that in kansas. i am sure it happens many times we do not know about, but i will not go into that. it also stops fraudulent voter identities. there were many conditions in a state like nevada. people register these false identities and many people said, they're probably not going to use -- probably not going to vote with those identities. maybe, maybe not. voter i.d. prevents voting with
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that fictitious identity. you have to have a photo i.d. that matches the fictitious identity in order to vote. it prevents -- voter i.d. prevents that from materializing on election day. a third crime that voter i.d. prevents the -- prevents is double voting. this is extremely common in united states. they move from one state to the other and do not cancel the ould jurisdiction. a lot of people try to get away with voting in both states. it is much easier to prosecute with voter i.d. laws. people say, somebody else voted my identity in my old state. that was not me. with a photo identity, you prevent the assertion that it was someone else who voted. there are multiple forms of voter fraud that voter i.d. laws
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prevent. time is short so i will wrap up my comments. i will share more examples in the q&a. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. my name is scott gessler, secretary of state in the state of colorado. many people are familiar with a lot of the things that affect voter integrity. bloated and inaccurate voter rolls. a very loose honor system when it comes to voting in this country, both in registration and voting as well. oftentimes, there is no photo i.d. required. over time, we have seen the increased use of mail ballots. it increases a common avenue for voter fraud. what underlies a lot of this and causes the challenge is what i call a culture of see no evil,
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hear no evil. this argument is propagated by some of the same people who see massive corruption when it comes to a campaign finance system. they see massive corruption in the ballot initiative process. when it comes to calling our hearts become in purer with malice. -- impure with malice. the see no evil, hear no evil culture results in a few problems we have. you see a real politicization of some of the avenues many -- maintaining vote integrity. some are being accused of terrible things and drawing examples from problems in american history. almost always with no evidence whatsoever.
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you see that level of politicization. you also see from this culture is reflected in state election systems. more often than not, states have inadequate systems when it comes to the detection and prevention of voter fraud and error as well. although there are many protections in place, there are real glaring deficiencies, and entered the elite in the collection of the data to provide -- particularly in the collection of the data needed to provide. one person who testified in denver, colorado, identified a nursing home where 14 people who had voted had died in the past or moved away just in that one area. i was embarrassed because that happened two years ago.
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this woman was a friend of mine. she knew i was running and that was the first i had ever heard of it. she instead reported to it -- reported it to our local clerk and reporter, who did nothing. actually, she did something, which was accused of people who made those reports of acting and doing terrible things, suppressing votes, things like that. the lack of a detection system lax collection of information. part of the thing that causes this is a policy infrastructure that the people who support that culture have developed over time. very well-financed, asserted in its arguments. willing to produce what i think is evidence of very quality. the good news is there are some real opportunities and dynamics. first and foremost, the see no evil, hear no evil culture does not have much support in the
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country. we all want to believe that everyone is of good faith and willing to do the right thing. americans intuitively understand that elections are hard, complicated human endeavors. in any human endeavor, there is a small proportion of people who will, when tempted, do the wrong thing. political power as gained through the elections is a temptation. that helps people to do bad things. americans intuitively understand that. this predominant culture is built on a foundation of sand, so to speak. i think three things are going on. those who focus on election integrity are beginning to build a policy infrastructure to bring those ideas for for improvement. true the vote is a great example. there is still a huge imbalance today, but it is beginning to
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change. the second thing we are seeing are really good policy breakthroughs. secretary kobach has some great evidence. what we're seeing in the photo id debate, kansas is one, in vienna, ga. -- indiana, georgia, they have instituted photo id laws. it has increased confidence in elections. sometimes it is correlated to increase voter turnout. and a whole lot of good things. that shows that some of the hysteria is silly. there is a third opportunity and that is the opportunity for administrative complexity. unlike kansas, certain states
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like colorado do not have the potential for broad-sweeping legislative changes. nonetheless, elections are difficult and complex. there are plenty of opportunities to make improvements. i would like in elections to software. when software is released, there are bugs in the software. vulnerabilities like vulnerabilities in our elections. sometimes they are released and no one ever touches them and nothing goes wrong. sometimes you run across a bug and you will have problems. you will have to shut down your computer or you will have some type of inconvenience. you know there is a problem but it still allows you to accomplish your task. then there are bugs that wipe out your system and you lose all of your data. those are the types of vulnerabilities we have in our election system. there are lots of ways to improve but it requires getting at the nuts and bolts.
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we have examples in colorado. you are seeing the citizenship debate where we are identifying problems and making changes to address those within the administrative machinery. overall, i am hopeful that this culture of see no evil, hear no evil, will give way to a sensible culture where we want people to do the right things and we know that mostly happens. we also have to be prepared to address vulnerabilities in our system, new bugs and the old ones that we have seen happen repeatedly in american history. thank you very much. [applause] >> when i was new to the practice of law, an older member of the bar pulled me aside and said allen, the best way to be successful in litigation is to
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follow this rule. if you have bad facts, pund the law, if you had bad facts, lb. -- if you have bad law, found the facts. if you have bad facts and belloc, pound the desk. i have seen people attack the messenger and not the message. when you hear that implication of photo id requirements will take us back to the jim crow era or a time in the civil rights movement, i find it insulting for those who actually lived through that time. when you hear people say that there is an intent to suppress minority voters or that this is a solution in search of a problem, i find that disconcerting. you talk about having a solution in search of a problem, i thought about that on the plane this morning. i said hello to the pilot. if the pilot had said to me,
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based on my observations, i have a suspicious belief that this plane might crash based on the instrument panel reeves, i could tell you that i would want that pilot to have every tool and take as much time as he needed to prevent if a plane from crashing -- to prevent the plane from crashing. what we have here is data, evidence across the country that shows our methods of managing elections, controlling data, are antiquated. for someone to come in and dilute the voting pool for fraud is very prevalent. i want to give our government the ability to combat that. it is difficult to prove a negative. if alan wilson goes in and uses a fraudulent voter card and i leave the polling place, you cannot go back in time and prove
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the negative. it is very difficult to catch someone in the act. i hear countless stories of people who witnessed that. i also see falls on the other side, while they may be good people, i see them of manipulating fax and twisting data to come to conclusions. last year, it was determined that there are 70 people in south carolina registered to vote but do not have a voter registration card. a lot of people would be affected by having to get a photo id. in our state, there were 239,000 south carolinian who had a voter card but no photo id. the justice apartment made a determination that 10% of that number were non-white. 8.4% of that number were white. a 1.6% disparity of how people could be negatively affected.
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they said in their refusal to clear the voter i.d. lot that minorities are 20% more likely to be disenfranchised or have their vote suppressed. they came up with the 20% number because the number 10 is 20% higher than 8.4. a twisting of facts. data companies using data from people who are of voting age, not likely or eligible or registered. they use inflated data to get a predetermined outcome. when you look at the 239,000 people in south carolina, we found out that 92,000 of that 239,000 do not even live in south carolina anymore. they are now citizens in another state. 37,000 of them are deceased and had not been taking off the voting rolls. 950 chose to vote in elections
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after they were deceased. that may have been dead voters, voting fraud, or it could have been an error by the poll watchers. we are looking at those numbers. the opportunity for fraud exists. you look at statistics. georgia, our sister state, in 2007, they implemented the photo id law. in 2004, from 2004-2008, minority participation went up. people say that was because we had a special election, our first african-american president. let's go to 2010. minority participation went up 44%. hispanic his nation went up 66%. caucasian voters went up 11%. it went up across the board but statistically higher with minority groups. in no court case has some one been able to prove or show that there is actually someone who
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has been disenfranchise or had their right to vote suppressed. in south carolina law, you do not hear this talk about a lot, but if you show up without a photo id, it could be because you are 100 years old or sick or whatever reason, you can still vote. you can vote that day by signing an affidavit. there is one last thought that i want to leave with. i was speaking to a group of african-american leaders in my community about this particular topic. i got to tell them something they did not know. there is a case out there called -- involving kinston, north carolina. in this community, 65% of the registered voters are african- americans. they voted overwhelmingly to go from a partisan-designated race
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to a non-partisan-designated race. the justice the far refused to clear them. when i was speaking to the folks in that community, i told them that i never tried to attack someone's internal thoughts or intentions but i am not above using their words or actions against them. i put out a letter that the justice department sent to the people there. their reasons for denial were as follows -- "the elimination of party affiliation will reduce the ability of blacks to elect candidates of choice. it will eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to get elected to office." one member in the room said, so we are too stupid to take our own candidates. i said, if this does not offend anyone else, it certainly offends me. when voter fraud exists, it dilutes everyone's vote.
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not one race or one group. that is what we're doing everything we can in south carolina to ensure the integrity of the vella box. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i am glad to be here today. delighted to be at heritage. those of you watching this on line and most of you in the audience knows i did this. one young lady in front is holding up a car that tells me how much time we have left and it tells me when to stop. i will make a promise to her that when you hold up the stop sign, i will smile. that is how we played today. let me begin. i want to start by showing you something. something that is kind of at the core of what we're talking about today. perhaps you cannot see it so well if you are watching this on
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the internet. most of you in the audience can see it. this is a virginia driver's license. also known as a state-issued photo id. it is very small. pretty innocuous-looking, except for the ugly face on it. it has actually been sanded around the edges so on like the notes i have in front of me, you cannot even cut your hand inadvertently. it is a very tiny little thing that will fit in a breast pocket. it will fit in a wallet. you can carry it next to your pager or blackberry. it is not a billy club. if you look at it, that is
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clear. it is not a fire hose. i live in virginia now but i come from the state of alabama. i used to represent birmingham, alabama in the united states congress. i know a little something about fire hoses. it is not this. it is not some kind of a weapon, a club that southern sheriffs used to use to keep people from voting or participating. it is a tiny, little photo id. this tiny, little thing i am holding up in my hand tends to do very weird things to people. it tends to create some very interesting political arguments. several months ago, two very prominent leaders of civil rights organizations in the united states were so riled up by this tiny little thing called
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a photo i.d. that they went to the united nations and they went to a very particular place in the united nations called the human rights commission. while i am not an expert on united nations terminology, they basically filed a complaint against us and the basis of the complaint was the incredibly devastating potential to suppress this little thing i am holding up. i will not even get into the fact that cuba sits on the human rights commission and they would not know a free election if it walked in and bid them. -- and bit them. china sits on the human rights commission. they have many great virtues and are sometimes a partner of ours, but in china, unless you are one of a small group of private citizens that do get to cast votes, china has never had a free election in many histories
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of dynasties and centuries. they may us look like a rookie as old as that civilization is. they have never had a free election. saudi arabia sits on the human rights commission. saudi arabia occasionally experienced -- a spur mess with voting. but if you are a woman, you are not part of the experiment. you get my point. not the group i would expect to judge our integrity when it comes to elections. attorney general wilson touched on this. you know the argument on the other side. frankly, the most powerful argument is to have voter i.d., it would have the effect of diminishing for dissipation. it will have the effect of crushing the ability of all kinds of people who wish to vote.
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they are talking candidly about the men and women who are citizens. can we dial the clock back four years ago when some of us had no gray hair and some of us had more hair? four years ago, we were told about the young people in this country. we were told that there were so fired up and so enthusiastic and so energized. we were told they were led to believe in a way that they had never been led to believe before. four years later, we are told that those same motivated go- getters cannot be bothered with getting an id. four years ago, we were told about the seniors who were in who had never missed an election. they were so motivated to get involved in politics right now. now we are told that those same
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people who were so fired up and ready to go and so motivated and cared so much about their country, now we are told that they're so fragile and so weak and marginalize and isolated that they do not have an id and cannot be bothered to get one. you take my point. reasonable people can differ about almost anything -- everything in american life today, including this issue. reasonable people should not disagree on one point. we have had our share of suppression, particularly in the american south. there is no question about that. but this is not suppression. this is a simple, little device that we use all the time. when i leave here, i have to hightail it to the airport
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because i have to speak in salt lake city tomorrow. i will not get on the plane if i happen to leave this year. most buildings in washington d.c., including the department of justice that has filed lawsuits trying to stop states from in limiting voter i.d. laws, if i were to decide i want to go by the department of justice and try to get a meeting with anybody there, i could not get in without this. finally, we have our friends in the news media. i love the definition of objectivity with journalists. objectivity to a journalist means exactly the opposite of whoever i am interviewing. i did an interview with a news organization about this very issue. they asked me what they thought were some pretty tough questions. when i went to the news organization to do the interview, the first thing that was sitting on top of an ominous-looking security guard was a sign that said, "photo i.d. required.
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no exceptions." which is more than most states, who would have made a number of exceptions. so i am glad to be here. i am glad to talk about this issue. this is something democrats and republicans ought to care about. something conservatives and liberals ought to care about. something americans ought to embrace. the notion of voter integrity. thank you all. [applause] >> thank you very much. our director of lectures and seminars told me that i could exercise my discretion and extend the session. i will let c-span and other viewers know that i am going to exercise that. i'm going to ask the first question and thank all of the
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panelists for their great remarks. i will draw on a little bit of each of what you have said. i think it is great that secretary kobach said he is building an empirical data base. in his state, the laws allow that. secretary gessler mentioned that. he referred to a see no evil, hear no legal problem. i would think it is worse than that. in some news outlets, it is report no evil. but it is worse. it is to propagate a falsehood, to emphatically denied that there is a problem. my colleague and i have had discussions with other people. when you bring up instances of fraud, they say, that is not in this state. you bring up instances in that state and they say, that is not
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in the last two years. elections are only held every two years. the problem is that there is unfortunately a great number of americans, particularly the poor, who have come to believe this falsehood. that gives me great pain because it signifies to me that we need to do an even bigger effort to try to dispel the myth, whether it is intentionally propagated by those who think it is justified because they want to stop what they think is a bad practice of insuring voter integrity. the one thing i do want ask you all to comment on it is the data, the proof of the pudding is in the voting. you mentioned other reasons to suspect that getting a free voter i.d. is not a problem.
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in the 2008-2010, it was experimented another way. you could compare states with voter i.d. laws and those without. what the statistics show is that the states with voter i.d. had a higher increase in minority votes than the states without. again, the important statistic is not that the percentage of minority votes increased in that state, because it increased in almost every state in 2008 with enthusiasm for president obama. but that the minority rate increase more in states with voter i.d.. they could trust the results of the election. some have speculated that is the reason for that.
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it was more worth it to them to go to the polls. i think the same result proved true in 2010. am i right? am i wrong? where can i go to help publicize that data it is available? -- if it is available? does someone want to help me out? >> it is a challenge. when i was talking about the policy infrastructure, you look at what organizations that are out there that are organizing on a nationwide basis. a number -- the number of those organizations was pretty limited. heritage is one. what winds up happening and we both his faith in the secretary of state conferences, oftentimes, one of us will call
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someone us -- someone else and ask about the experience and we weave into our analysis or communications. there is a real hole as far as voter integrity organizations that are doing the rigorous collection and analysis of that data. there are all kinds of things out there. you do not have to look far to find evidence of how voter integrity increases confidence in the election and increases turnout. >> as more states adopt photo id laws, some of those states, like kansas, are not having to deal with the free clearance because we are not a section 5 state. you have more data being assembled. many of those laws are being blocked by the abolish justice department.
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kansas is added to the mix. we will have the big general election in november, which will give us a lot of information. tennessee is moving forward with theirs. rhode island may be. a number of states from all over the country. secretary of state offices are collecting that information. some are putting it out there more aggressively than others. there is a lot of information and it is all showing that the claims made by the critics of these laws are not valid. >> let me make one legal point that needs to be made. if you tune out everything we say today, please remember this little nugget. the supreme court has addressed the issue of photo id. they did it as recently as four years ago in 2008. the guy who wrote the opinion
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was john paul stevens, who is one of the great liberal icons to serve on the u.s. supreme court in the last 30-some years. a liberal justice wrote an opinion upholding voter i.d. laws in indiana and he made the point that, because of the state's legitimate interest in combating voter fraud and the state's legitimate interest in verifying people as it does in many aspects of life -- verification is not a strange thing in our civil life. justice stevens recognized that because it was not a strange thing in civil life, there was not a burden to apply it in voting. there was a presidential campaign going on when that happened. candidly, this is not a partisan yvette. do not take this as a partisan comment.
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it is a factual comment. i do not remember the then- senator obama even issuing a press release criticizing the ruling. i do not remember the dnc, i think howard dean was the chairman. i do not remember the dnc issuing a released even criticizing that ruling. i know that some people are thinking, indiana is not a voting rights act-covered state. a different standard applies in the south. the voting rights act was crafted to give the federal government extra enforcement tools in a region where discrimination used to be a part of life from the time you got up to the time you went to bed. from the time you were born to the time you were buried. that used to be the stuff that we live in. today, in vienna has fewer black
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elected officials -- indiana has fewer black elected officials that south carolina. fewer black officials voting in terms of the number who are turning out at the elections. you were african americans are registered to vote in indiana. if your concern is we want to make sure african-americans have a full chance to participate, would it not the odd to say that indiana has fell to a weaker standard? one final point -- this is about a very simple question. should we. two rules of law in this country? should we have one rule law for kansas and colorado and another rule all law for south carolina, virginia, and alabama? i submit that we do not. >> thank you very much.
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some say that justice stevens came to his view on the inherit -- by the way, the supreme court recognized the inherent problem of voter fraud. the supreme court states that it is lawfully allowed to be recognized. i am going to show you my id here. i have it. i will now recognize those from our audience. please wait for the microphone so viewers on tv and the internet can hear. this is the first one i have seen. identify yourself, please. >> my name is sarah. i am a voting rights advocate. i really care about american voters. i am happy to have this opportunity. every time that an american registered to vote, you have to check a box that says, i am eligible, over 18, and a
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citizen. they send that to the secretary of state who decides to put them on the role. this has been the system for many years and is working. my question to you is, you want to take this much further. you are talking about proof of citizenship. in order to register in your state, you have to show a birth certificate, a passport, or your naturalization papers. does and you -- is anyone carrying one of those documents right now? i am carrying a driver's license, but i do not walk around with my birth certificate, which would make it difficult for me to register in your state. what do you say to those voters? >> thank you for the question. first of all, we have a lot of evidence. you simply fill out a card and check a box and sign on the line and that was the end of it.
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no one asked you to verify anything. county clerks, when they had suspicion that a person was not a u.s. citizen, they could do nothing. they had to register the person. let me give you one anecdote and i will disagree with your statement that it is a burden. the anecdote comes from right across the state line. kansas city is divided by the kansas and missouri state line. the election that best illustrates this was the democratic primary. the commission was held by democrats and whoever won the primary would probably win the seat. rizzo and broyster were the last two names. approximately 50 somali nationals walked into the polling place, one at a time, with the same translator who instructed them to vote for rizzo. this happened all day long.
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all sorts of witnesses saw this. at the end of the day, rizzo won by one vote. that election caused great consternation in the missouri legislature and i could go into the legal rambling about that, but those people who registered illegally were non-citizens and they probably through that election. i am not saying that rizzo organized it, but somebody did. in counties, there was a hall- forming tissue in southwest kansas where there had to be a referendum to allow the particular type of operation. the county clerk testified that people who were non-citizens according to her belief were registered to vote. does it cause a great burden? i would say no. there are actually 12 different documents that kansas law allows you to use to prove your
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citizenship. after the real idea was passed by congress in 2005, most states were required to segment the driver's license list into citizens and non-citizens. the reason you do that is because of non-citizen to our license had to expire when their stay in the united states expired. you now have aliens in the driver's license database and citizens. the states are now requiring people who renewed their drivers' licenses to provide proof of citizenship, usually a birth certificate. in kansas, they are collecting the pdf image of the birth certificate as they renew their drivers license. it is actually easy. when they turned 16, they got their driver's license and the birth certificate is on file. we're simply having that image
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transfer so the person will not have to bring in their birth certificate. if the person is not in the group that already has their birth certificate scan, it is allowed to be sent in at a different time. you can register and have your mom back home take a picture of the birth certificate with a self of -- a cell phone, text it to you, and you can text it to the secretary of state's office. we made sure it was very convenient for people to prove their citizenship. >> i would like to address that. the system works. that assumes our hearts are pure. the system does not work and we have plenty of evidence of that in the state of colorado. we have had over 430 people who have either voluntarily asked to be withdrawn from the voter rolls because they were non- citizens or they attempted to register and they checked the i
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am not a citizen box but were nonetheless registered. the argument is that 430 does not matter. there was a statewide election won by about 90 votes in the state of colorado. in 2002, the congressman won by 121 bv -- 121 votes. on top of that, we recently looked at immigration holes in our jails. -- we found currently the number is 185 people also on voter registration rolls. we have to confirm that. that is a pretty high likelihood there is a problem with those people. we compare our database against voter registration database.
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within the last several years we have identified 5000 people when they get a driver's license or non-citizens. i understand some of those people may become citizens. i cannot believe all of them have become citizens and the light of the real world examples we have and other states. most of the time the system works for the vast majority of people because they are honest and know what is going on. there is always a small percentage where fraud will occur. the system is not working. >> that was a great answer. i just want to add, certainly reasonable people can differ on what kind of procedures states can use for citizenship. i admire hearing the details about how far kansas and colorado have gone to try to make it easy. federal law requires -- prohibits non citizens from
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voting. i submit it is not responsible for states and forcing the federal law to do nothing. next question, please. try to make sure it is a real question and as brief as possible. >> hello. i am a citizen of this country. i have several questions wrapped into one. why have all of these laws come up so quickly over the last year and not before 2011? how come they did not crop up when george bush was elected by only a few thousand votes in florida? how can citizens trust voter i.d. laws proposed by conservative legislatures are not using politics to discriminate -- to disenfranchise voters who typically vote progressive or
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democratic. it is not just the voter i.d. laws that have cropped up over the last year. conservative legislators have lamented early voting days which has increased voter participation which has nothing to do with voter i.d. laws? >> another great and challenging question. >> i will swing first. thank you for being here. the voter i.d. law was actually attempted to be passed in february 2009 the first time. it said two years to get it to where it can even be said for preclearance. it would have been attended earlier but there was great interest and the indiana case that actually was sent to the supreme court the year below that. the georgia law was challenged multiple times at the district court and court of appeals in georgia. those are all done during the bush and administration. voter i.d. laws preexists
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president obama. when i was meeting with a group of african-american leaders, that was something i was asked. what is the hurry? there was no hurry because we have been trying for two years to do it. our law was finally passed this last may. we quickly moved to implement a law over one year ago. the justice department i believe we did a full length of time to deny us preclearance. we went through the process of getting to hear. our interest and trying to move quickly has nothing to do with who is an elected officer who is running at what time. ours is based on a fear from numerous citizens in south carolina -- have eyewitness accounts of voter fraud being in many cases. understand these laws have been passed before this
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administration. this is not something we just thought up a couple of months ago. >> one of the gentlemen on this panel comes from kansas. kansas is a republican a democrat wrote a book called "what is wrong with kansas?" i do not profess to be an expert on kansas politics, but i do not exactly think republicans need to suppress votes to win elections in kansas. they have been winning them under all circumstances no matter what. it is not a hot battleground state. if that sounds like a somewhat flippant. to you, it is an important point. there is a myth that the only states passing these laws are closely divided states where the election -- whether it is obama or romney may come down to just a few votes here or there, you have a better chance of getting kansas city getting in the
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world series than you do seeing a presidential ad in kansas this year. the second point, the young lady made a point that you do hear a lot which is are these just right wing republicans passing these laws? rhode island passed a voter ideologue. here is what you have to know about rhode island. -- rhode island passed a voter i.d. law. do you know what the cut over the top? they have the audacity to come out and testify in public they were tired of seeing voter fraud in their legislative districts. they were tired of having to sit down every election and said, i know because i am not the machine can that there will be x number of fraudulent votes over here. i have to figure out not just a strategy to get votes, i have to figure out how to offset fraudulent votes.
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those were not republicans in rhode island. there is a phone booth full of those. those are african-american democratic legislators. those people deserve credit because everyone of them has been told by the democratic party, do not come looking for us for help when you have a primary. the other final point that i would make is, repetition matters and panels like this, i want to repeat his point. law passedoter i.d. in 2004. the only supreme court cases in the and oppose a lot. indiana is a typical republican state that happen to go nearly four barack obama four years ago. in 2004 it easily went for bush.
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it passed a lot of because they were concerned that kerry carried indiana, but they thought it was a problem in some counties in indiana. we cannot lose sight of one important thing. the issue is whether it is an unreasonable burden to produce photo id. we might debate the public policy all we want, but when courts are looking at these issues, that is the only thing the courts are looking at is an unreasonable burden. the reason we keep talking about the ubiquity of drivers' licenses, the fact that ideas, and is not because we are trying to make the debaters. , but we are trying to say how can that be a burden to ask people to do something they do all of the time? how can it be a burden to ask people to do something they do all of the time.
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>> regarding the passage of the act in kansas. two thirds of the democrats in the house voted for the bill. three-quarters of the democrats and the kansas senate voted for the bill. it was not a republican bill or a democrat bill. this is an american idea. it is an idea of all people who care about the integrity of the system. one final point, it is true that in 2011 there was an unprecedented number of states -- more than half a dozen states reject adopted some form of photo id law or something else. -- adopted some form of photo id law or something else. i think the reason you saw so many states in 2011 is this issue really did not reach the public consciousness until
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after the 2008 election cycle when there was so much focus on acorn. that one group was all over the news media. people started hearing about it. in 2009 additional reports came out, state legislators are really responsive than members of congress are to what people are thinking about. >> everybody is more responsive and members of congress. >> and there you are. state legislators started hearing this. they got the idea i think this is an important issue. it was elevated to the national consciousness in the 2008-2009 period. that is why you saw them being interested in passing these laws in 2011. >> thank you. i know one of our panelists have to leave to go to the airport with their photo id. please join me in thanking all
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>> every four years, the democratic national convention adopted a new platform in an official statement of the democratic party on the issue. the platform committee meets in detroit and vote on a final version to present to convention delegates in charlotte, north carolina. coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> i do not indeed the drowsy harmony of the republican party. they squelch debate. we welcome it. they denied differences. we bridge them. they are uniform.
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we are united. the choices this year are not just between two different personalities or between two political parties. they are between two different visions of the future, two fundamentally different ways of governing. their government of pessimism or hours of hope and growth. >> see every minute of every party convention since 1984. watch the national conventions live on c-span starting august 27. >> state voter i.d. laws were also the focus of a panel discussion at an naacp convention in houston. from the naacp
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president and political action and civil rights advocates. this is about an hour and half. [applause] >> this is a teaching session. we understand what the battle is. it enables us to engage more. would you repeat after me, we are seeing an attack on voting rights. an attack on progressive tax policies. an attack on public education. attack on labor rights. an attack on the principles of equal protection. under the law. and the attack on the principle of equal justice in the criminal justice system. and vicious attacks on white, black, latino, and progressive
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leaders from the president to the attorney general all the way down. we have seen that before, we are seeing it again. we fought against the before, and we must fight against it now. 1870. say it with me. 1870. 142 years ago. these matters were settled with the 15th amendment. why is this nation trying to undo what was settled 142 years ago? 1965. 47 years ago the voting rights act settled.
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47 years later we are having to fight all over again. 1968 richard nixon lunches the southern strategy. 44 years ago, and here we go again. we fought 10. -- we fought then. we will fight now. we won and then. we will win now. i wanted to set that up because it is important that we understand what our president and ceo as he was speaking trying to rid us in history. -- trying to root us in history. we must understand the battles we have fought, the
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personalities that fought that, the tactics they used to when and how those tactics that we must use are still being -- are still very applicable today. leading us now in this fight in the 21st century that in many ways looks like the fight of the 19th century is not other than benjamin todd. [applause] >> every member of the naacp has to have the president of the follow. >> every member of the naacp has to have the president of the follow. rev. barbara is one of mine. i will follow him anywhere. she is one of the great leader is at the naacp. [applause] -- leaders at the naacp.
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i just want to be clear because we have a great panel and i want to get to them. two things. the first is that the game changed in 2011. we must understand it. prior to 2000 we had ambushed the gore and it became voter -- we had bush v. gore. in 2011 we saw the most massive assault through the passage of state laws we have seen and at 100 years. we should not expected -- we should teach a because every time the vote expands it is followed by this suppression effort. now it has changed again. voter registration, gotv,
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protect the vote and protect our voting rights. and so we must be on the battlefield not every two years and every four years but every year. the last time -- the playbook after the passing of the voting rights act was illegal voter suppression. the lesson from 2000 is when you break the law to suppress the vote it gets really messy. this time they have reached back beyond that to the playbook from after the civil war which was to use the law to suppress the vote. let's understand that was a battle that lasted for 40 years. we have to understand we are at least in a 40 year or this time. people on the other side know their history. they know where they got the playbooks from. we are wise to understand our
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history, too. what that means is that we will every year be going up and fighting both to expand the vote and to protect the vote, every single year. the second thing we have to understand is that the so- called disenfranchisement laws have been our greatest failure as a movement when it comes to the old jim crow era voting laws. we got rid of the poll tax and a grandfather clause and all of that. the literacy tests. we did not get rid of the disenfranchisement because we forgot what they were about. this time we are being very clear that this -- we have to get rid of these. when you read the law, right after the passage of the 15th amendment where they stated clearly they were anticipating the black vote would expand over
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their objections. new york actually rejected the 15th amendment. they said we are pushing through this bill to offset the expansion. very clear. it or not doing this to keep >> felons from voting, they were doing it to keep black people from voting. virginia in its jim crow constitutional convention, the delegates of the constitution advocating for the es felon disenfranchisement to be stuck in there where it remains today. because of this plan, the darkie will be eliminated as a factor of our politics. this said they will preserve white supremacy as the order of the day in every county in the state.
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we can no longer afford to forget our own history. we are bound to forget it if we do. we cannot afford to repeat this history. we are too far down the path of almost repeating it right now. please give your full attention to this panel. this is about what we have to do this fall. what we have to do every year. we are back in a 40-year war for our voting rights. we will win this time just like last time. thank you and god bless. [applause] >> by now everybody knows the president as helping us raise of more freedom fighters. his son was born on july 4. what is the birthday today? you got to know your history. the 14th amendment, today as we
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sit in here that guarantees if you are born or naturalized, equal protection under the law. i want them to take their hands off of my equal protection. the 15th amendment says, nobody can deny -- i am using this language because there is a reason it did not say denied the right. it said deny it or abridge -- that means to cut off access. no one can deny or a bridge my right to vote. at this time we have our panelists. i will introduce them all a one time. they're going to take a six or seven minutes slice out of a particular area. then we should take questions. if you have questions please
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write them down. we will be taking them up and it will come to the podium. the editor in chief of think progress. he is here with us today. let's give him a big hand. he holds a doctorate from georgetown law center. and then we have brendan mitchell. a recent honor graduates of westport high school where he was the president of the national honor society and acted on the debate team and the thespian society. he has been an active member of the naacp since the age of 9 and currently serves as president of the florida state youth and college division. let's give him a big hand. [applause] then we will have mr. bryan
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rowland. perry view -- prairie view, from brooklyn, new york. a master's of community development. he has served his community through a numerous affiliations including the prairie view credit union, vice president of the chamber of commerce. he will come and share with us and his own way the power of organizing for the vote. kimba smith will be focusing on disenchant -- this enfranchisement. she went to hampton university.
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it is important that we know this sister was sentenced to 25 years and served six years in federal prison. she regained her freedom after president clinton granted her clemency. but give her -- [applause] her case grew support from across the nation to reverse the disturbing trend in recidivism. particularly with an emphasis on men and women transitioning from prison and those who find themselves entangled in the criminal justice system. dennis also was incarcerated for
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five years and eight months. rather than being overcome by success or failure, he studied and learned and has decided to help other people now have a second chance. we give him a hand today. [applause] mrs. barbara arwine, she is executive director for lawyers committee for civil rights under the law since 1989. she is known worldwide for her renowned contributions to critical justice issues including the passage of a landmark civil rights act of 1991. let's give her a big hand. [applause] our panelists will proceed in the order and on the topic they have been given. after they each complete their time, then we will receive questions from the audience.
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>> thank you very much. i am honored to be here and be part of the panel. i think it is fitting that we are here in houston, tx for this presentation. this is a state that recently passed one of the most egregious of voter i.d. laws and the entire country. it is a law where if you have a state issued student i.d., that is not valid. if you have a state -- if you are a state employee and it issued a photo and -- a photo id from the state for employment, that is also not valid. if you get a gun license, that is acceptable. you can see how this conception of voter i.d. in this state is clearly being used for partisan
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purposes and to try to change the power as some of the previous speakers have explained better than i can. this is also a city that is home to one of the most pernicious of voter suppression organizations, an organization called true the vote that really pioneered the tactic of flooding voters sites with poll watchers who are really not there to watch but to try to intimidate, harass, and do as much as they can to prevent the people they do not want to vote from voting. it now recently announced a new initiative where they are going to go and sue a whole variety of states for not purging their voter roles like the were trying to do in florida. we are really at the center of the storm here in houston,
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texas. what i want to talk about is the messaging war around this issue. you listen to president jealous and the other speakers and you think yourself, this makes perfect sense. this is rooted in the constitution. this is about a fundamental right. why is this going on? we know why there are people pushing to suppress the votes of other people, but why are they achieving success? one of the reasons is to this. they have won the messaging war. nobody will come out and tell you that i support voter i.d. or voter write laws because i want to suppress votes. they will say we are concerned about voter fraud. we're trying to preserve the right to vote and the integrity
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of the vote. even though there is no evidence this is a problem, out of 749 million votes in the last decade or so, they have identified 13 credible cases of in person voter fraud. this is not a real problem. they have convinced people this is a problem. there is a recent poll of found 70% of americans say that voter i.d. measures are necessary to stop illegal voting. they found 13 cases where voter i.d. could have not done anything at all. they convince 70% of all americans that this is a big problem. this is not just republicans. 52% of democrats, 72% of independents believe a voter i.d. is necessary to prevent illegal voting. until we start to change that
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number, all of the initiatives we are talking about will be hard. people think this is a good idea. only 26% believe that such laws are unnecessary and discourage illegal voting. a small minority of people. even more disturbing, 50% of people believe opponents of a voter i.d. laws are trying to steal elections. it is hard to steal an election with 13 votes over 10 years, but that is what people believe is going on. there is a massive incredibly successful misinformation campaign that has been perpetrated by these groups. by true the vote, by a number of other groups.
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right now it has worked. that is why i think you have seen since 2011 what president jealous was talking about. 17 states moved to restrict voting rights including some of the biggest and most important swing states. let me stop the negative talk and talk about what we can do about this. what you have to do with a massive information campaign is tell people the truth. it is a little bit harder than what they have to do because when you are making things up, it is pretty easy to figure out what to say. one example, this is a group mentioned and project vera toss, they went around and released a video in florida saying, here are two people who
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committed in person voter fraud. they should not have voted. they were not citizens. they put it out as they investigated the video, this blasted on youtube. i read a site called think progress. we try to investigate this stuff. we did something that apparently other people did not think to do. we contacted these people. we called them up and said, is this true? are you not a citizen? they said, no i am a citizen. i am nationalized. -- naturalized. we put their certificate on our blog. that at least diminished or destroyed one era they had to argue this was a big problem. that is one piece of the problem. that is just a small piece, and there are many others.
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i am going to wrap up because i know my time is up. i just want to encourage people to reach out to us. we want to tell the stories about what is going on. between three and 4 million people who come to our web site every month that we want to tell the stories from people who know what is going on and on the front lines. please get in touch with us so we can work together. [applause] >> i want you to think about something when you come back and maybe do a follow up. racism has always won the message war. manifest destiny was the description -- the nice description of white people were put into slavery. the goal was to redeem america. -- why people were put into slavery.
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i think part of what -- i am glad you raised that. the only time we have been able to change the message is when we made it a moral issue. we have elevated our language and writed it in the framework of our faith in our constitution. racism has always had to talk about itself in terms that did not seem so harsh. thank you so much. come on and share with us. >> good afternoon again ladies and gentlemen. i am from the great purging state of florida. i am a recent graduate. i just turned 18 in the month of november. the november -- april. the november elections will be the first time i exercise my right to vote. with that in mind as i was asked to really go into the effects of
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the attack on voting rights on college students. i am reminded of one of my final classes in high school, which was american government. that was a required credit. two of the terms that i learned political socialization and civics. civics is rather elementary. the ability of people to exercise their rights as a citizen and the good citizens in our society. political socialization is the development of citizens in this country and their political ideology. when i think about the attack on voting rights for college students, the first thing that comes to my mind is education and school is one of the greatest effect on a person posing political ideology next to family. political ideology
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next to family. they want us to develop our ideologies through college. so they are putting the -- they are actually putting a enable life -- enable right of life and pursuing happiness and a constitutional right to vote against each other. we almost have to make a choice. just moving forward and asking the question of why they are doing these things to college students. it is more a question of, are we americans or not? i would like to share some data with you all. in 2008 college students ages 18-24 in particular were more active in the elections than any other age group. 59% of all eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24
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were registered before the presidential election. 49% of them actually cast a ballot. that is the greatest number for that age group in our american history. so we ask ourselves why. these statistics give us our answers. we are powerful. the speaker of the house of in new hampshire even said, and i am quoting him, the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what i did when i was a kid which is voting as a liberal. that is what kids do. they do not have life experience and they just blow their feelings. voting our feelings. -- -- voting their feelings. i guess we are supposed to be numb that our peers are being
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killed day-by-day. murders are being upheld by standard ground laws. cuts to affordable health care and provide college students with high quality health care is not a right we should have. those are the feelings we are voting for. no, those are the facts. people vote on what affects them in their daily lives. voting our feelings is not the term. we are voting based on what will affect us in the future. as of right now, 15 states have voter i.d. laws. in texas in particular, your state college id just will not cut it for you. i guess if you are college
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students over 21 you can get a gun licence and still votes. however, that is not the major issue. these politicians want to take us back. the whole notion of voting our feelings is the same thing that was suppressing the right of women's voters in the beginning of the earliest -- in the early 20th century. they are too emotional. want to take us back to the era where politicians implemented laws that denied african- americans the right to vote. back to the era when a small percentage of our -- americans controlled the wealth and toyed with the democracy of this nation. that is what they are trying to go back to because college students and students alone have too much power. if we use it, we are an agent of
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change of in this country. with that in mind as we fight back, it is said one of the best messages in fighting back against these voter i.d. laws and boats that are even stopping kansas organizations from registering voters like in the state of florida is educating our peers. i guess i can delve in further in the question and answer period. [applause] >> if you could let us know at 5 minutes. we want to get to some questions and we want to get all our panelists and. at this time, brian. >> good afternoon. my name is brian and i bring greetings from the great city of prairie view.
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the word that i will talk about in reference to power to organize is called power. power defined by webster is the ability to actor produce an effect. possession or control or exert influence over others. students marched for voting rights in 2004, myself and some of my friends at a campus some of you might have heard of called prairie view a&m university which is the second oldest institution here in texas. we organized a march. we talked about a supreme court case that was ruled in 1979 called the order of 1978. it went to the supreme court and allowed the right for all college students to be able to
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vote where they go to school. what college do you think brought that lawsuit? currey view a&m university. . prairie view a &m university. there were 19 students indicted. charges were later dropped. they were indicted and taken to jail for voter fraud that led to massive voter registration efforts on the university campus. the recall the pv 19. this is real. a district attorney told students they would be fined and could face jail time if they registered in the county. then we came back, me and some of our friends. i want to thank everyone in here. i grew up in the naacp. i have been a member for the
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last 16. five years. i came through the youth chapter that gave me the skills to organize and be able to do some of the things we are successful at. what we did is -- >> you have about one minute. >> power to organize. we have to prepare ourselves and our communities for long-haul over these issues as our history presented indicates there have been continuous attempts to implement a regressive policies to suppress the vote of people of color. it becomes critical we organize our communities around the important issues that impact our civil rights to participate in the democracy. there are several states that have voter rights challenges this year. we hold forums to educate the masses around voter rights.
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our for results. he will build a strong base that is actively engaged in democracy. accountability within leadership. if you do not remember anything, remember power. i want to leave you with something that -- a saying that. extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. i would like to quote a couple of famous black poets. chuck d was "fight the pwer." people, people we are not the same. we're not the same because we do not know the game. what we need is awareness. make everyone fight to the powers that be. for my more modern people i want to talk about kanye west.
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i am doing something in the 21st century. doing something means to me. the system is broke. schools are closed and prisons are opened. we have nothing to lose. thank you again. do not forget power. [applause] >> we are going to have some hard stops because we want to get questions. if you hear me do the preacher thing, that means hard stop. >> of next and i will listen to the rev.. it also a founder of the kimba smith foundation. and 8095 i was sentenced to 24 1/2 years in prison. conspiracynation's and crack cocaine drug laws,
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even though the prosecutor stated that i never handled used or sold any drugs involved, i was sentenced to the total amount within the conspiracy. thank goodness for organizations such as the naacp. it was the naacp legal defense fund that represented me pro bono. they advocated on my behalf. it was years ago our president jobless who was a rhodes scholar at the time who was one of the first people who actually brought my case to president clinton. -- president just he was a rhodes scholar who brought my case to president clinton. had it not been for this act of the president of the united states, i would still be serving my sentence today until 2016. one of the collateral consequences is losing my right to vote. in 2009 during the most historical -- 2008 in the most
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historical election i was not able to cast my vote due to state disenfranchisement laws. there are four states that permanently disenfranchise voters with convictions. there are nearly 400,000 people who are disenfranchised in virginia. disenfranchisement scheme was adopted into the constitution in 1902. the reasoning it was instituted was because it was quoted by state delegate "this plan will eliminate the darkie as a political factor in less than five years so there be the least concern of the white supremacy in the affairs of government." 90 days later the number of black registered voters plummeted from 140,000 to 22,000.
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this authority has not been fully exercised. and virginia a convicted person would need to complete their prison sentence, pay any fines or court costs, complete their release. after completing the supervised release there is a mandatory two-five year waiting period before someone can apply for restoration of voting rights whether or not you have a non- violent or violent offense. if you have nonviolent drug charge to fall within the five- year period because you have a drug case. i was not eligible to apply to have my rights restored until 2010. in 2009 i moved to indianapolis for marriage. i was unsure about my voting status but somebody suggested i just go to dmv and fill out the
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form and see what happens. within a few weeks the received my card and in the november 2010 i was able to vote for the first time in indiana. thank you. [applause] recently i moved back to virginia as a wife, mother. i have a two-year-old daughter. i have a husband who is an air traffic controller. i have to go through this tedious bureaucratic process of applying for a restoration of rights. i just want to list some things i have to do as if i am applying to go to college. i have to get a certified copy of my driving record, certified copy of a criminal record, proof of payment of all court costs, three reference letters, and my application signed by a notary public, a letter of petition has to be submitted by myself, a
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letter from my probation officer outlining my supervision, and certified copies of your sentencing order. really? for a basic human rights i need to make sure -- i am fortunate i have transportation and somebody who can watch my daughter because she is not in day care now. i will make sure i give my right restored. just to people who are listening and especially to government or bob mcdonnell since i will sum up and not say any of the other things i want to say, a quote from martin luther king. he said on some positions cowardice ask a question, is it expedient? and expedience say is it politic. vanity asks if is a popular. conscious asks if it is right. there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor political or popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right. thank you. [applause]
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>> let's think our sister. i was going to give you an amen. the other side is getting mad because i am thinking of all these people who stole money on wall street and they get a bonus. here a good sister and up with all these years in jail. something is wrong with that. >> everything that was going to say has been said. i am going to give a couple of quick hitters. one of the great things that happens to me when i come to the conference at the state level and also here is that i get mad all over again. that is a good thing. constructive discontent is what i call it. just a couple of things that has -- to the couple of things about felony disenfranchisement is there are 5.3 million people affected in this country unable to vote because of their record. it goes across variations of
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states. in our state where i am from, you cannot vote until you are off probation and parole and supervised. is the way of the land across the country. california compel while on probation but not parole. in pennsylvania you can vote as soon as you are released without regard to probation or parole. in the maine and rhode island you can vote even as an inmate so we can find out what they are doing. -- maybe we need to study them to see what they are doing. the new jim crow is felony disenfranchisement. i think we have heard it over and over. there are some legal challenges over the last 30 or 40 years entered into our court. challenging the 14th, 15th amendment and the voting rights act. we have not had any opinions in our favor yet but there are some courts leaning our way and saying from the totality of the
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circumstances, if it looks like this is not a lot to hurt you from voting but to prevent -- to prevent you from voting, we will look at everything under all the circumstances. if it looks like there is something other than just what you say it is, we will have issues around the 14th amendment and 15th amendment. i think that will change. what can we do? we can study the states that are already using this lot. study what they are doing up there. anybody can go to their including inmates. we can get back to our courts and have lobbied days. speaking get our state legislators on capitol hill to fight for disenfranchisement. we can call on the formerly incarcerated to form a coalition to help them carry it forward. those formally incarcerated men and women who are eligible to
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vote, let's make sure they are eligible to vote. i will stopper there. i was a thank you for allowing me to come. -- i will stop right there. thank you so much. [applause] >> are there any young people in here? i want you to stand up. mark, sit down. you are 100 years old. if you are young stand up for a quick. if you are under 18. 2121 and under. we need some civil-rights lawyers. we need some lawyers that will continue to fight. we have to dust off this constitution. barbara needs everyone of you to
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be heard in terms. she needs a legacy. i want to believe somebody will become a civil rights lawyers. give them a hand. [applause] i am teasing you, marc. brother mitchell used this word -- did you hear him use that word? the word dr. king used as well but a lot of people have forgotten what it means. in layman's term it simply means when the state tries to undermine or cancel the protections of the federal law for state law. when dr. king used it he used it to keep from cussing. it really is an ugly word. interposition. the governor's lips were dripping with the words of interposition and nullification.
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i want you to listen close to barbara. i believe we are dealing with two realities. we are dealing with jim crow. this comes straight at you. jim crow is straight up racism, no chaser. i will destroy you. we also are dealing with james crow, esquire who is slick, sophisticated, hires consultants, those in the back room and finds loopholes in the law designed to undermine the very principle of law itself. this sister has been battling both of them. the jim crow and his offspring, james crow, esquire. thank you for being with us. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. this audience is composed of my
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heroes and sheroes because you are the difference and you are the game changes. i want to focus on today is what we need to do. how do we respond to this challenge. what can be done about it. first of all, everybody has covered some much. i will discover a few things that were not mentioned just quickly. -- i will cover a few things not covered under quickly. they released a report on the deceptive practices and voter intimidation. the report you can get at www.lawyerscommittee.org. you will find that in that report it talks about all of these deceptive practices where fires are passed off and our communities that say if you come to the polls and try to vote, you will be arrested.
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if you have not paid your traffic tickets, your child support, your electric bill, your rent, your telephone bill, whatever. they just lie. the other fliers say things like "if you show up and try to vote and are registered by the naacp, and the other progressive group, that you will be arrested." the other flyers says that because you are a great democratic voter, you should know democrats only vote on wednesday. everybody else foots on tuesday. there are robocalls. we saw these in wisconsin. we have seen them in virginia. we see them everywhere. they say things like, oh, it is 03 o'clock today. the election has been decided. you can stay home. they say things like, by the way, your precinct has been moved or closed for the days you have to come back and vote on
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wednesday. all of these lies designed to steal people's votes. we have issued a report calling for the federal government to pass a federal legislation pending to make deceptive practices illegal so instead of just getting slapped on the hands, they can be put in jail for trying to intimidate people. the other thing that want to mention, and i know you have heard it over and over. we have to register people. 60% of the 3 million african- american voters that registered for the first time since 2008 will lead the be registered. they do not know that. they think they are cool. if you say, are you registered to vote, they will say they are good. i voted in 2008.
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they do need to be registered in most circles. 1.8 million black voters will need to be read-registered an order for us -- they say for the lack of knowledge, people perish. one of the things that we passed out that is being passed out right now by my wonderful colleague and others his the m - -is the m -- is the map of shame. my son was smart enough to say, mom, you need a map. i guess i need a map. my staff created it. it has become really popular because it caught everybody what was at stake. the bad news is that sense i showed it to you, last july, it
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has gotten worse. there are more states out there trying to pass these horrible loss. i want to remind you that in addition to voter identification and everything else that the patriots etc., we have limits on the early voting, restrictions on citizenship, and mass confusion because nobody knows what the law is. we have to stand up and be voter champions. each and every one of us, everybody we know. unheard of the first thing we want to do his massive voter education. people think they are good and are not. we have to teach them to get registered. we have to have them verify their registration. we have, active right now, the election protection hot line. if you have a cousin or a sister
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and you don't know whether or not they have the right to vote because they are an ex phelan, on parole, call the hot line. call it because it is live, the staff, open business hours. use its. people have all kinds of issues out there. they don't know what to do with a move, they don't know how to reregister. this is where you can call if you need information. i want everybody to allow your smart phone. you know that thing we can't live without? our assistance, our appendage,
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our other hand. i want you to get our mobile application. this is election protection in your hands. text ourvote to 90975. you will get the election protection smartphone app. this application is excellent because it will tell you everything about voting in your state and it will tell you if you don't know where to go to get identification, where to go get it and who can help you. it will tell you the election dates coming up in your state. it tells you everything you need to know and how to get help. i want to make sure that you do those things. i will stop out because of time,
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but there are additional resources that have been passed out. this is a fight, my brothers and sisters. but let us not have any doubt about what is going on. it is reconstruction deja vu, but you know what is really going on? people are adding the numbers and they know straight out that if this country is allowed to be what it should be, everybody is allowed to vote, it will be a more progressive nation. it will reject the conservative agenda. it is going to be a more fair and representative nation. more women, more african americans, more native americans, more asian-americans where they need to be sitting in the sea of power. and exercising that power. the only way to stop the inevitable evolution in this
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country is by coming up with artificial barriers. guess what we do? we tear down artificial barriers. >> thank you so much. let me make a comment, and if you have a question, you can bring it right here. what is important, let's give this panel a hand. give them a hand. i want you to remember that when we talk about this reconstruction, this nation on a couple of occasions had a chance to fulfil its noble ideals. right after slavery. in the reconstruction effort was undermined by frontal attacks on the vote. he civil rights movement represented the possibility of a second reconstruction. how was undermined by a tax on voting rights in the assassination of our leaders. even the president of the united
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states. and the initiation of a white southern strategy. the election of president obama we don't endorse, but we talk about the historical realities. the kind of the electorate that brought him into office represented the possibility of a third reconstruction that would be completed. that would be completed. and democracy is hard. there has always been a challenge to expanding the electorate. the noble documents of this nation when they were written did not include everybody. it didn't even include all white people. let's be real about that. there has always been a struggle with a full and open democracy because the original constitution didn't even include poor white people.
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if they were to landowners. it did not include women. if it did not include native americans that were here first. and it fractionalize us and said you could take a person that got made and reduce them to a fraction. democracy, you cannot relax. because there are those that want to take advantage of the democracy itself. one final piece, we have to keep our eye on this issue of redistricting. all across this country, particularly in those states where you have the voting rights section five. let me give you an example. our opponents are perverting our victories. our voting rights says that --
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the james crow attempt to say that the voting rights act says that we must create majority black districts. we will use the 50 + 1 principle to create your black districts. we are going to bleach, staff, and pass african-american voters. quill do you a favor. we will give you an extra seat in the state senate and house. so you might go from seven black people to eight or nine. and you ought to be excited about that because we know what is best for you and your community.
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but the trick in that is that they add african americans to districts that are less than 50% black voting populations that are already electing black people. and by adding african-americans to of those voting districts, they thereby undermine the ability not for blacks, and i want us to get this because we are not just interested in electing black people. if you play the political game, you are going to lose. it is not just collecting black people or having in blackface at a high place as important that is. you have to be careful because a black snake can buy you just like a white one, sometimes quicker. the political game is collecting individuals of your choice that will move your
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agenda. and even if they are not african-american, they owe you their political reality. and they know that if they don't do right, you can change that reality. in north carolina, why we are in court now, they took 53% of african-american voters and packed them into three congressional districts, thereby trying to remove our influence from nine other congressional districts. they put 51% in 27 out of 120 house district, and 29% -- and gave an extra black in the house and an extra black in the senate. but what they have done is removed our political power. they thought we would be happy with just having an extra black
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rather than having black influence throughout the whole general assembly. and now we are having to sue them in state court because this is important. using a law that our black and white fusion politics brothers and sisters of the past had sense enough to put into law 144 years ago because they knew that somewhere down the road, a somebody would try to undermine democracy. that is where we are. and we must watch this. we must be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves and really understand what is going on. if we don't fight at the state level, people missed it. it doesn't get in the headlines. but if they are allowed to proceed with these redistricting that foru can't change
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25 years. if, then, and by then, so much public policy would have been put in place, you may not ever be able. remember, when they put 3/5 of a person in the constitution, it took us 246 years of slavery, over a hundred years of jim crow, and we still haven't gotten rid of the effects. at this time, we will have questions from the audience. thank you so much. first question. all right. when do these oppression laws go
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into effect? are they already had an effect? and what is the impact? >> if you pull out your math, right here, you should have its as a handout. once again, thank you, tanya. she is the head of the national bar association, and i am fortunate enough that she works for me as our public policy director. you will see that there are scales of justice. on several states. that is because it is indicating that these laws right now are not in effect in those states. mind you, if we have not organized, some of these states like wisconsin have a scale of
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justice on that because we sued to the advancement project. if you look at new hampshire, that as a law that doesn't go into effect. it is in blue, 2013. but it has precursor affects this year. if you look at georgia and if you look at south carolina and alabama, mississippi, texas, you will see that the scales of justice are there because we sued texas and we are litigating with them right now. some of the lawyers are going to court today. we also objected to the justice department's around south carolina, and we are objecting in alabama and mississippi.
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let me get one thing straight. everybody thinks voter i.d. laws are good. let's take trees that that myth. one thing that happened in mississippi is that they had a voter initiative. in mississippi, it passed by over 80%. when we did an analysis like lawyers do, we went back and looked at who voted. we found out that in white communities, 82% of all people voted for the ballot initiative, but in the african-american communities, 75% of all african- americans voted against the ballot initiative. it shows that the naacp in the state of mississippi did its job. it shows that when you tell people what is at stake and they understand their interests, they
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will vote correctly. you can't go by polling data. frankly, none of us would be sitting here if we went by polling data. it was never in support of the civil rights act of 1964. it was not popular in the south and was not carried by the southern bloc. neither was the voting rights act. president johnson said, when he signed the act, he said, i am conceding the south to the republican party henceforth. this map shows you what is in effect. there were 13 states, which have stopped those laws in seven of those states. we are doing other work all over
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this country. i will be part of that fight, beat the laws and nebraska, who have done all these good things >. >> the naacp, it requires the kind of come by and work to be able to do that. on some of these issues, governors are the telling like in michigan and north carolina. even though the veto had 18 straight vetoes, more than any other governor in history trying hold back these repressive laws. someone wanted to know in terms of the struggle getting the government to address sex phelan disenfranchisement in your
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state. what has been the struggle? >> i don't know if you heard, but i have been living in indianapolis the last three years. so i have been off the scene, but i know that governor mcdonald -- and there has been some praise because the past governors did not deal with the issue at all. people were not able to get their application process. gov. mcdonald made a commitment that he will make sure that each application is addressed within 60 days. again, i think it is the time to do what is right and there should be no application process at all. thank you. unfortunately, i do have to leave early, but i am glad i was able to make a comment. when of the things that bothers me is that i am a taxpaying
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citizen and i speak personally about the representation -- about the situation, but i represent large groups across the country. the outlook on the community. to teach our young people about the importance of making do you explain to your child to exercise that basic human right? i have to explain to my young son in 2008 why i was not able to vote, which was very painful. i feel as of virginia and these other states need to step up and do what is right. >> if you would allow me to do what i do in church and take a little pastoral privilege, i
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read most of the questions and some of them will be answered in the next section when we are led through on how to implement the plan at the local level. we have got it. sued us up so we can fight. if we can take the panelists, starting with you, in a minute and a half, what two things from the perspective that you have raised in do we need to see happening? think about it that you're speaking to grass-roots people, 2400 units across this country in almost every county and every state. people that spent their own money to come here. what can they do when they go back, from your perspective on the issue you have spoken to today? each take a minute and a half and we will conclude. >> i think the number one thing
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to do in terms of messaging is to make sure that people's individual stories are told. what you saw in florida, despite what the governor was trying to do, the election supervisors put a halt of the purge and it was driven by some of the individual stories that came out, people being impacted. the 92 year-old world war two veteran and the individual stories told. it didn't matter. about half of those supervisors are republican and half are democrats. half of them stopped the purge, and that is a good thing going into the election that we will hopefully not have what we thought was going to happen there. the second thing that i would say is that we just need to do what we can to raise the issue
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in the consciousness to get it into local papers, local news. a lot of times, people -- it really drops off of the radar as far as what is going on. that is what really gets busy. keep the vigilance up and make sure that the message keeps getting out. >> let's give him a hand. >> just to piggyback off of what he said, i absolutely agree in terms of fighting back against college oppression. we have to be underground informing college students, especially incoming freshmen. informing them exactly what
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needs to be done so that they will be able to go. i will be attending a school away from my state and i already have to put provisions in place so that i will be able to cast my absentee ballot. we have to be more aggressive, and deny the stereotypes that they have of college students that we are brainwashed and because they brainwash us when we wash our heads in the shower. we have to be more aggressive as the association, informing them that as one of our greatest abilities, getting the information to communities and making it known that these are the methods that you can go through. a lot of the supervisor's office are either willing to work with units that may want to do registration. they will do it for you so you don't have a liability if it is turned in.
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we have to get that information into communities so we can begin to affect change. the college students' voices will not be muted and we will say this is what we want and this is our future that we are fighting for. >> it sounds like we need a fresh freedom summer led by a new generation. i was one-year-old. freedom fall. i was one-year-old when you did it in 64. >> in just a few things to kind of piggyback. one thing we clearly need to do is all take the naacp voting rights tool kit and read it. and that is the first thing. from that, we can implement that at all levels local, state, a nationwide. because i am the elected official, all politics are local and we need to understand that.
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communities around the country will change if you effects changing your community. you can't be disconnected from your community and participate nationally. we will start to see the changes affect. our brother brandon talked about how things piggyback. elections every four years, in texas, the governor is every two years. we can't participate in the of years because that is when the egregious of things happen around this country. after 2008, one joyous occasion happened. in 2010, we were still celebrating. i think you for the opportunity and i will say, make sure that we read in the voter rights will get that the naacp has put together, and brought hold of
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voting rights as a game changer topic. it is the foundation of how we move forward. redistricting was very important. redistricting is the foundation. and how we reform education and criminal justice and economic development was all based on redistricting because that is how the laws that things are going to be changed. again, thank you. >> everybody hold out your hand. everybody. remember the president said that we have five game changers. you would not cut off your fingers, the pinkie. you would not cut off your thumb, these five came changers are connected on just like the fingers on your hand. how many of you want to keep all your fingers? keep them all. in a real sense, the thought as
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like voting. that is what separates you from a primate. that is what gives here have the ability for your other figures to function. in his voting rights pieces like the thumb. if you take that away, you undermine health care, education, and i want to thank you earlier for raising the apocrypha equity. i want to say to those of us a little bit older, some of the brothers and sisters in the hip- hop community got it right. they know exactly what is going on. and that language needs to be used and appropriated because we need everybody, 22 million african-americans eligible to vote. listen to me. even when an african-american was running for president, 35% stayed home.
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22 million eligible. even with an african-american, on the ticket, the first time in history, in a nation that was born and benefited from slavery. a million. they stayed home. they didn't even bother to register. and in 2010, only 45% went out. we need all hands on deck. and everybody at the polls. >> on bad hip-hop -- that hip- hop point, the reverend has been doing a magnificent job focusing hard on this registration issue, and the felon
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disenfranchisement issue. and to have been leading the entire effort can look for their rallies and other of events that they are holding all over the country. go to the hip-hop caucus and look up their schedule. the things i would say people have to do, and i mean must do. not optional, it would be nice if you did it, we must do these things. help people get id. every red stay on that map, you have got to make sure people get id even if there is a scale of justice there because all of those cases are still in litigation. we may win, like we won today, or we may lose. it is critical that we always operate like we are in a parallel universe. on one hand we got it, on the other hand, we got to get it.
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i need everybody to be part of get id programs. everybody you know in those states. say to them, are you apart of a get id program? the second thing, home workers. what they are doing that we did not talk to you about, how they are going to have people at the polls intimidate voters, we failed to tell you that the big thing they are doing is encouraging people to become full workers. specifically to get on the inside to challenge our people when they come to try to vote. also, so that they can be helping them make sure the laws are interpreted correctly and people have the right to vote can stop folks inside those
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polling places being bad. we need people to monitor the outside of the polling places to stop these challengers. the next thing, the smart phone application, making it viral. take it viral. if it is viral, everybody you know, can you look up your registration? that allows you to go and and look up your own registration. anybody else's registration. help people know if they are registered. let's make it viral so that everybody in the world is showing you that application. let's make it that popular. in september, september 25, that is national voter registration day. in many states, voter
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registration stocks as early as the first week in october. we want to make sure that we are encouraging people to have freedom schools, making sure that people are registering to vote and help register people. if we do those things, we will fight in the courts, don't worry about that. we are going to push the department of justice and we will do everything we got to do. but we need you to do those things we just talked about. everyone of you is indispensable in this fight. it was an honor to speak to you. >> we are not through. we have some work to do. i will ask everyone to stand, i want to say a few things. everybody stand. we have embraced the program announced they called 1000 churches, mosques, and temples.
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100% registration. how many of you at church? lost? temple? paternity? sorority? i want you to take personal responsibility to say that you're going to go back to your church, mosque, temple, soro rity, make sure 100% of folk eligible to vote are registered. why don't you may get 50%? we don't want 50% of freedom. you don't want 50% of the constitution or of justice. we ought to have a goal of 100%. the second thing i want to say, it is critical that we do this strategy peace. i will open it up a little bit on wednesday when we talk to
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barbara again. where i come from, there is this phrase. if we ever needed the lord, we sure do need him out. this is going to sound funny from a creature. i don't think that is where we are at. i think where we are at is if we ever needed to use what the lord has given us, we sure do need to use it now. you remember when moses was at the red sea and he got scared. he started crying. moses said, a standstill. but god said, no. don't you stand still. i did not tell you to stand still. that is your fear, that is your
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motion. i told you to stretch out your laws, look at what is in your hand. and there are times we cannot ask god to do for us what god has empowered us to do. but if we do what god has empowered us to do, then god will grieve got that and make it more powerful than we can imagine. here it is. let me go back in history and that we will go to the strategy. we cannot be the generation -- we cannot be the generation that does less with more. what our forefathers did more with less. we must do more with more. harriet tubman had epilepsy. her skull was crushed in by white slave master.
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but she got 500 votes out of slavery. she could have gotten 1000, but she could not convince them that they were slaves. some folks are not convinced we are under attack. asked a neighbor, are you convinced? it was born of the spirit of the moment. harriet tubman of 500 folks out of slavery with a bounty on her head. all she had was lost on the north side of the tree. and a north star that sometimes with a peak itself out against the buzz among the midnight sky. she had less and did more. harriet tubman didn't have e- mail. have a car. she didn't have good health. she didn't have health insurance.
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she didn't have myspace or facebook. she had a loss on the north side of the tree and a north star that every now and then would peak itself out against the backdrop of the bosom of the midnight. if she could get 500 slaves with that little bit, and now the lord has blessed us with all this technology and all this history, i start by saying, you better e-mail everybody you know. tell them, if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now. you'd better knock on every door you can not caught and tell them, if we ever needed a vote, we sure do need to vote now. you'd better text everybody you
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know and stop sending the other text before the fbi gets you. if we ever needed the vote, we had better vote now. myspace, a phase but everybody you know and tell them, show up. if we ever needed a vote, you sure do need the vote now. if his car, a mercedes-benz, or something you don't know will get to the next street, i get in it and drive it and tell people if we ever needed the vote, we need the vote now. i don't know how to do this, but i see my daughter and my son. i can't tweak, but they'd better to leave. to everybody they know if you ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now. is there anybody in the house?
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>> it is more like -- carbon pricing is applying to big businesses that generate more than 25,000 tons of carbon pollution each year. it is huge volumes. >> my question relates to the society. how much to the saving society of which are a member and put a plan for a carbon tax? >> not at all. for those who might know, the society is a progressive the bidding group that is being
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assisted with the labor party for decades. >> he said in 1994, i acknowledge my own government. i know your government owes a lot of debt. doesn't know any debt? >> i am not aware of any sabian society paper a car and pricing. someone may prove me wrong but i have not read it. >> let's move on. we want to get through as many people as we can. >> good evening. i am a stay at home mother raising my two children. what is your position on forcing insurers to provide indemnity insurance? >> that is obvious and not about carter pricing but it is a very
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good question. we have a working -- we have been working with midwives to support women having choice as to have -- as to how they have their children. it has been a problem in terms of that choice. we have been supporting independent midwifery but on the outlook details of how we deal with the insurance issue, i would have to get back to you on that. you are obviously still thinking there is some problem there. i would be happy to take that question with me and get back to you on it. rex thank you. -- >> thank you. >> the prime minister lokke back
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to you. this time i really mean it, no follow-up. let's move on. >> back to the carbon tax. i am skeptical about the drivers behind it. it has not been explained that well. if this is all about the environment and stopping pollution, why isn't -- how much of that is spent on solving the actual problem? no tax cuts or whatever. we pick up $1 billion and spend $1 billion on research and
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friendly energy production. this is immoral thing. then let's not worry about the money. >> i understand you are coming from. the way we are supporting the research, we are putting over $3 billion into renewable energy research. its job is to fund the the research to get the new good ideas. then the $10 billion in the energy finance corp., when those ideas are proved to the thicket a commercial but the ordinary banks and the rest are still a bit anxious about funding it, the energy finance corp. can move a dental and fund and get it from the research stage to
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the commercial stage. that is the effort which are making it into researching commercialization. we do have to worry about households. every dollar -- we have to worry about our pensioners and households that earn less than $80,000 per person. and also help to the transition. but the research efforts are being funded. i agree with you. >> let's move on to the next question. >> my question regards the current marriage a quality debate. i needed and asked this question 1000 times. i heard a good argument based on
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